Author Topic: Turbo B - he's as serious as cancer when he says he OWNS The KLF  (Read 711 times)

23 Daves

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This is arguably the most ridiculous copyright-orientated battle I've seen in a long, long while... and God knows the KLF have been through a fair few of them:

http://www.klf.de

In a nutshell, The KLF once sampled a singer called Wanda Dee on a well-known single "Last Train to Trancentral".  A legal battle ensued, with Wanda chasing Bill and Jimmy through the courts and getting them to agree to all manner of settlements, among them that her face be seen in their videos, that she receives songwriting royalties, etc.  So far, so very ordinary.

However, she now has the rights to their name and is going on tour as them!  There's a "KLF" show here in Melbourne very soon (a snip at $75 a ticket), and all the press here are interviewing and promoting the event as if it is the KLF (journalism so inaccurate and poorly researched it makes me seethe, to be honest).  She claims she has the right to use the name because much of their success is down to the five-second sample of her work in "Last Train To Trancentral", and that she's doing them a favour.

The tour (a package tour with Snap! and C&C Music Factory (who are represented by their choreographer)) is organised by Turbo B, who claims that he has every right to organise such an event, and apparently says that Wanda Dee is responsible for the continued success of the KLF by using their name and continuing to spread the word.

Bill and Jimmy have tried taking legal action and failed.  

I suppose you could argue that somebody stealing the KLF's name and using it to their own ends is kind of oddly in-spirit with the band's history, but all the same... do click on that link, read Bill and Jimmy's official statement, click on to read the comments, and laugh and despair at it all simultaneously.

weekender

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Turbo B - he's as serious as cancer when he says he OWNS The KLF
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2004, 06:14:42 PM »
I admit that the scenario does sound ridiculous, but this stood out from their official statement:

Quote
We also used samples. Some of these were uncleared and resulted in us having to delete records. Some were initially uncleared but were cleared at a later date.


Now maybe I'm being naive, but why didn't they just get the samples cleared before using them?

Turbo B - he's as serious as cancer when he says he OWNS The KLF
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2004, 07:16:53 PM »
Quote from: "weekender"
Now maybe I'm being naive, but why didn't they just get the samples cleared before using them?


Too costly.

A lot of artists who have multiple samples to clear, find that it's not cost effective to put a release out as the amount in royalties they'd have to pay the people they've sampled is more than they'd get back from the sales.

This is why a lot of people re-do the sounds/vocals using session singers instead, as imitiating vocals costs them only the price they pay the session singers.

Turbo B - he's as serious as cancer when he says he OWNS The KLF
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2004, 12:47:24 PM »
Quote from: "weekender"
Now maybe I'm being naive, but why didn't they just get the samples cleared before using them?

Clearing samples is - and was especially in the late 80s/early 90s - a complete pain in the fucking arse. But particularly back then, publishers would often point-blank refuse to clear samples (record companies and original artists had yet to wake up to the back-catalogue-reviving qualities of a well-placed contemporary sample credit), and there was a tendency amongst musos (particularly people such as Norman Cook and the KLF) to just put the record out and sort out any resultant legal shiznit afterwards (ie. any publishers/authors who had subsequently spotted the sample and issued writs for royalty claims), rather than spend more time, money & effort doing it pre-emptively in thorough, and even then facing the risk of refusal.

Johnny Yesno

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Turbo B - he's as serious as cancer when he says he OWNS The KLF
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2004, 01:50:43 PM »
Exactly, and it's lot easier to pay royalties when you're getting royalties yourself for a number one single. If the single hadn't charted no one would have cared or even known, in all probability.
In the studio I used to work in we had some regular clients who used to earn money by releasing medleys of well known hits. They never used to get clearance for the songs because they knew they'd earn too little from the project for anyone who did actually notice to bother getting lawyers involved.

Turbo B - he's as serious as cancer when he says he OWNS The KLF
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2004, 04:05:24 PM »
Quote from: "blue jammer"
This is why a lot of people re-do the sounds/vocals using session singers instead, as imitiating vocals costs them only the price they pay the session singers.


They'd still have to give away part of the publishing points to the original writer (and publisher) because they're only getting around the recorded rights by re-recording them.