QuestIons for Law yers, record e xecutIves,
and other PeoPLe who wear suIts
(1) In your experience in the music industry, in what ways have you encoun-
tered the sample clearance process? Which end of the licensing process have
you been on?
Licensing Samples and the Sample Clearinghouses
(2) Can you briefly walk me through how musicians obtain clearance to use
Probe: (2a) How has the process changed over time, speciﬁcally in response
to court decisions like Grand Upright back in 1991 or Bridgeport in 2005?
(3) Who decides, and how is it decided, what samples to clear and what samples
to take a chance on getting through undetected?
Probes: (3a) Does sample clearance usually happen before composing? Be-
fore recording? Before releasing the record?
(3b) How often have you seen samples get cleared after the record is released,
and what problems did it cause?
(4) How does the process of licensing a sample diﬀer between a major- label
artist obtaining a clearance versus an independent artist?