The Amen Break gets paid

winstons

Der Amen Break ist ein 1969er Drumsolo im Track Amen, Brother Soulband The Winstons, das in den 70ern auf einer DJ-Tool-12" landete, in den 80ern weltberühmt wurde und als Sample in tausenden Songs und Tracks landete, etwa in NWAs Straight Outta Compton, Amy Winehouse’ You Know I'm No Good oder Oasis’ D'you Know What I mean? Wegen Copyright-Schrotts haben die Winstons von den ganzen Samples nie auch nur einen einzigen Cent gesehen.

Vor acht Monaten starteten nun die englischen DJs Martyn Webster und Steve Theobald eine Crowdfunding-Kampagne, die im August mit 24000 Pfund (rund 33k Euro) von circa 1800 Leuten endete und nun ausgezahlt wurde. Zum Vergleich: Der Kartoffelsalat brachte es in einem Monat auf 55k Dollar (36k Pfund, 51k Euro) von rund 7000 Menschen. Immerhin kann sich Richard Spencer von der netten Geste auf seine alten Tage nochmal ’nen richtig faulen Lenz machen, dafür dass ganze Subkulturen auf seinen Beats basieren. That's what it's worth. (Danke Christoph!)

BBC: Amen Break musician finally gets paid

Webster was inspired to raise money for the musician by a 2011 BBC radio documentary, which tracked down Spencer and asked him about the famous drum break. The musician expressed frustration that he was unable to pursue legal avenues in order to recoup the money the sample had generated. The statute of limitations for copyright infringement is three years in the US - meaning civil and criminal cases must be filed within 36 months of the song being sampled.

Spencer told the BBC he wasn't even aware of his song's second life until 1996, when a British record label contacted him, seeking to buy the master tapes.

"I was still in Washington DC. I was attending university and working in the transit system," he recalled. "I felt as if I had been touched somewhere that no-one is supposed to touch. I felt invaded, like my privacy had been taken for granted. He urged musicians who had used the Amen Break to "do the right thing. I'm flattered that you chose it but make it a legal interaction - pay me."

"The young man who played that drumbeat, Gregory Coleman, died homeless and broke in Atlanta, Georgia," he added.