Timbaland, "Acidjazzed Evening" and pseudo sampling

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Mr. Oragahn
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Timbaland, "Acidjazzed Evening" and pseudo sampling

Post by Mr. Oragahn » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:14 pm

Nothing new here, save one little bit.
Let's just rewind things a bit first.
It's quite a clear thing to people now that Timabaland, or Timothy Z. Mosley, ripped off a good number of musics from across the world to produce "his" hits.
Still, there is one at the center of the controversy, Janne Suni aka Tempest's Acidjazzed Evening.
There's quite a couple videos making comparisons between the C64 version of Sunni's song and Timbaland's ringtune and then "Do It" for Nelly Furtado, but assuredly, this one is quite the best. It's just all too clear where Mosley got the "sample" from.

So I wondered if Suni sued him for the obvious copyright infringement. There's more of the story below:
In early 2007, there was controversy surrounding Timbaland because of allegations of plagarism that surfaced concerning his work on the Nelly Furtado track "Do It". He is alleged to have plagiarized several elements (both motifs and samples) in the song without giving credit or compensation.

The claimed original track, entitled "Acidjazzed Evening", is a chiptune-style 4-channel Amiga module composed by Finnish demoscener Janne Suni (a.k.a. Tempest). The song won first place in the Oldskool Music competition at Assembly 2000, a demoparty held in Helsinki, Finland in the year 2000. According to Scene.org, the song was uploaded to their servers the same year, long before the release of the song by Furtado. The song was later remixed (with Suni's permission) by Norwegian Glenn Rune Gallefoss (a.k.a. GRG) for the Commodore 64 in SID format - this is the version which was later allegedly sampled for "Do It". It was added to the High Voltage SID Collection on December 21, 2002.

A video which claims to show proof of the theft was posted to YouTube on January 12, 2007. Another video was posted to YouTube on January 14, 2007, claiming Timbaland also stole the tune a year earlier for the ringtone Block Party, one of several that were sold in the United States in 2005. A YouTube video comparing all the related songs was posted in February 13.

On April 1, the track for "Do It" (without vocals) was used as theme music for the 2007 Juno Awards broadcast, which Furtado hosted. The track was played during the show's opening and before commercial breaks. The controversial samples could be clearly heard throughout.

Timbaland, while admitting the sampling, has called the issue "ridiculous" but also says he is "in legal discussions" and therefore can't say much about it.
Now, what literally left me with my jaw on the floor was how this actually ended on the long legal side of things. As put on the wikipedia page:
Third-party analysis

A device in Timbaland's studio, as seen in video clips from the MTV show "Timbaland's Diary", has been identified as an Elektron SidStation. This device is a MIDI-controlled synthesizer based on the SID chip of the Commodore 64, and it is capable of playing back .sid files the way they would have sounded on the original hardware. It has been speculated that Timbaland downloaded Gallefoss' version of the song from the High Voltage SID Collection and used the SidStation for running it to the studio system.

Chris Abbott, maintainer of the website C64Audio.com, posted an in-depth analysis on the topic and summarizes it in his on-line article. Abbott has commercially released Commodore 64 music, most notably the "Back in Time" CD series. Abbott writes regarding the alleged plagiarism:
Chris Abbott wrote:"What appears to have happened is that the three-voice output from the original C64 version has had the bass voice silenced: that missing bass voice then follows the original tune except for a couple of changed notes, and the removal of some octave jumps. However, various technical procedures show that other components of the song (chords/melody/rhythm) have been exactly reproduced. This is vanishingly unlikely to have happened by chance."
Abbott also notes that although the evidence seems to be conclusive, the eventual outcome is not.

Court proceedings

In August 2007, an action for infringement was filed in the District Court of Helsinki against Universal Music, Ltd alleging Nelly Furtado's song "Do It" infringed "Acid Jazz Evening". In January 2009, after a trial that included multiple expert and technical witnesses, a three judge panel unanimously dismissed the plaintiff's case. Writing for the court, Judge Lemstrom writes, "The plaintiff has lost his case in its entirety."

On December 17, 2008, Abbott also testified as a witness of prosecution in the Helsinki court in Gallefoss' case against Universal Music Finland. The Finnish court reportedly threw out the case after ruling in only one aspects of the three claims (sampling, performance rights, producer rights), and the case remains in appellate court, as of January 2010.

On June 12, 2009, Mikko Välimäki, who is one of the legal counsels of Kernel Records, the owner of the sound recording rights, reported that the case had been filed in Florida.
Basically, Finnish "justice" gave Suni a big middle finger. It did the same to remix's DJ, Gallefoss, on nearly all the complaints, with the rest stuck in legal limbo.

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