Guns n Roses face sampling claim

November 2009

Record labels, artists

Two British independent labels, Independiente and Domino, have launched a lawsuit against Universal’s Interscope-Geffen-A&M division, claiming that one of their artists, Guns N Roses, used samples taken from two recordings by German musician Ulrich Schnauss, who is represented by the two Brit labels without permission. It is claimed that portions of Schnauss’ ‘Wherever You Are’ and ‘A Strangely Isolate Place’ reportedly appear on GNR’s ‘Riad N The Bedouins‘ from GNR’s 2008 Chinese Democracy’ album. Independiente and Domino are seeking $1 million in damages in relation to the infringements. GNR manager and Ticketmaster boss Irving Azoff responded to the lawsuit saying “The band believed when the record came out and still believes that there are no unauthorised samples on the track. The snippets of ‘ambient noise’ in question were provided by a member of the album’s production team who has assured us that these few seconds of sound were obtained legitimately. Artists these days can’t read the minds of those they collaborate with and therefore are unfortunately vulnerable to claims like this one. While the band resents the implication that they would ever use another artist’s work improperly and are assessing possible counterclaims, they are confident this situation will be satisfactorily resolved”.  7th October 2009

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