Timberland accused of having Acidjazzed Evening without permission
March 22, 2007 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Timbaland accused of plagiarism Mega-popular music producer Timbaland has been accused of lifting the heart and soul of Nelly Furtado's "Do It" from a C64 SID chiptune arrangement by GRG of a MOD file, "AcidJazzed Evening," originally composed by Finnish music tracker Janne Suni. Or maybe he was just repurposing his own "original" ringtone from MSN. Nerds get angry and are dismissed as haters. The original tune is catchy, even as an MP3. It reminded me of the MOD collection I amassed in 1993, when I could fit hours of music on a floppy disk. My reminiscences took me to Amiga Music Preservation to try to reconstruct my old MOD collection from memory, but I failed. Maybe MP3 and AAC have made tracked music formats obsolete for most.
posted by bugmuncher (34 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I realize this is "old news" but I searched for a thread on this topic and didn't see it. I managed to include links to something other than Youtube and Wikipedia. (I wasn't going to go for the grand triumverate of links by adding ytmnd...)

Plus, maybe someone else will try to rebuild their old MOD collection.
posted by bugmuncher at 9:58 PM on March 22, 2007

While I wholly support any posts about MODs, I could swear this has been posted before. Maybe not. Maybe I saw it on boingboing or something.
posted by Jimbob at 10:15 PM on March 22, 2007

This music publishing industry has moved passed this kind of plagiarism (being controversial). Producers who get caught stealing melodies like this should be busted. Fuck XXL. I can't even stand arguing over matters of principle. Just a simple, "Fuck you. Where's my money." would suffice. I hope hip-hop implodes and all these money-grubbing, talentless, mainstream producers get killed in the ensuing black hole. This is where hip hop's at anyway.

"It's like niggaz ain't hungry no more... so what's the deal?" - Kazi
posted by phaedon at 10:17 PM on March 22, 2007

DC101's Elliott in the Morning pretty much asked him this point blank, he weasels and says he "sampled" and doesn't know what's public domain or not and various other BS that makes it obvious that yeah, he stole it. He knows where he got it from and can afford to clear the samples for a major label release.

Elliott interview here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATkHbfbQAc4
posted by Challahtronix at 10:25 PM on March 22, 2007

As much as I support sampling, you should at least a) change up the sample enough to where people can't call it, or b) own up when you get caught.

Of course, even if he wanted to, I'm sure Timbaland is under contractual obligation to not say anything of the sort, and his record label will fight it every step of the way. Naturally, I'm sure they also go after kids for illegally downloading their music...

Copyright- a matter of who's got the money. Sigh. :/
posted by yeloson at 10:29 PM on March 22, 2007

Actual quote from Mr. Land regarding the incident, proving beyond a doubt that he's this Earth's most classy man:
It makes me laugh ... The part I don't understand, the dude is trying to act like I went to his house and took it from his computer. I don't know him from a can of paint. I'm 15 years deep. That's how you attack a king? You attack moi? Come on, man. You got to come correct. You the laughing stock. People are like, 'You can't be serious.' "
posted by aparrish at 10:30 PM on March 22, 2007

Come now, he worked hard to add all those cat noises.
posted by kid ichorous at 10:44 PM on March 22, 2007

It's good to be king!

Dear God he sounds a twat.
posted by Wolof at 11:05 PM on March 22, 2007

The original tune is catchy, even as an MP3.

I agree. I had the WMA and it sucked, but listening to this MP3 it's better. I can't wait to catch the M4A. The melody would improve significantly with zero compression on my iPod, and I'd probably pee in my pants a little if I heard it played from disc through my NAD CD player at home. Of course, people in a 10 block radius would instantly die of awesomeness should I fire up the vinyl and the tubes.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:06 PM on March 22, 2007 [4 favorites]

"chiptune arrangement"

OK, I'm officially old.
posted by telstar at 11:21 PM on March 22, 2007

i'm so happy now that a couple friends pointed me at CocoModX for playing mod/s3m/xm/it files on Mac OS X. it has much better playback quality than macmodplay. see you on irc!
posted by clyde at 11:28 PM on March 22, 2007

original tune link broke
posted by vronsky at 12:00 AM on March 23, 2007

I thought this was standard operating procedure for pop music these days.
posted by ODiV at 12:26 AM on March 23, 2007

AcidJazzed Evening is a nice tune, but there's a whole lot of chip tunes I like better, such as:

.elephant beer. by Screamager
c-viou.xm "victory is ours"
df-happy.it "Happy" and "the_7th.it" by Davy Flop-It / Andy Abstract
118in64.xm by Reed Richards
elekfunk! by moby
chipdance by MAD GOD

And there's tons of great stuff in the Emissions collections from mono211.
posted by straight at 12:40 AM on March 23, 2007 [4 favorites]

That's how you attack a king?

not to stand up for hauteur in general, but timbaland is pretty much the king. so he nipped one. big deal. that still leaves about 50 fucking hits that he didn't steal.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:47 AM on March 23, 2007

I found much of the opening of "Sweet Lullaby for World Music" relevant here.
posted by dhartung at 3:02 AM on March 23, 2007

For an unbelievably huge MOD archive go to, well, the modarchive (Note: This is a temporary and slow mirror of the original, which can be found here, but which seems to be down at the moment)
posted by Glow Bucket at 3:23 AM on March 23, 2007

That MOD is the only thing that makes that song worthwhile. I wish Timb had stolen MODs for every song on the Furtado album. (And shared the proceeds).
posted by VulcanMike at 5:19 AM on March 23, 2007

I agree. I had the WMA and it sucked, but listening to this MP3 it's better.

Considering that the original was a MOD (which can be played back in many different ways according to the preference of the listener and/or errors in the MOD tracking software) there are a lot of reasons to be concerned that a non-MOD version of the song might suck...

[checking straight's links now.]
posted by bugmuncher at 5:32 AM on March 23, 2007

not to stand up for hauteur in general, but timbaland is pretty much the king. so he nipped one. big deal. that still leaves about 50 fucking hits that he didn't steal.

That's the funny thing about the way people in rap seem to act these days. Everything's so intensely I'm the best — no, you suck that something nuanced like "You know, he's a great producer, and that's a pretty good song, but the way he made it was a little unethical" just can't get across.

Nobody's denying his talent, his fame, or his catalog of hits. But yeah, if this is true then he did fuck up this once.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:56 AM on March 23, 2007

(Well, okay, to be fair, some people here are denying his talent, but I get the impression they didn't like him much before this story broke either....)
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:11 AM on March 23, 2007

Hmm, well sampling does have a history in hip-hop, including uncited sampling. Still, it seems poor form to rip off some poor mod-maker, he ought to pay royaltes.
posted by delmoi at 6:47 AM on March 23, 2007

I had never heard of Timbaland before this incident. I hope this becomes a legal fight, he has no standing and deserves to be punished for crap like this IMHO.

On a lighter note.... Definitely going to have to get my MOD collection out when I get home.

Straight, I notice you have a moby tune on there. One of my favorite mods from waaay back when was dragonsfunk.
posted by reptile at 7:14 AM on March 23, 2007

He better watch out... he's going to end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if he keeps up the unlicensed sampling.

People love Paul's Boutique.
posted by smackfu at 7:18 AM on March 23, 2007

That's how you attack a king? You attack moi?

A king... named after a shoe.

Yo, DJ Doc Marten in the house, you gotta reSPECT, bitches! With MC Hush Puppy on the wheels of steel! Why you all laughin'?

The thing I don't get is how, now that the entire Finnish demoscene thinks he's a dick, the guy still has a Web site.
posted by dansdata at 7:40 AM on March 23, 2007

I still have my s3m's and xm tracker files from way back. Those were the days.

A personal favorite - Unreal2 - a remix of the music for the landmark demo "Second Reality".

Nice post, bugmuncher. I hadn't heard the story before, so it's new to me.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:57 AM on March 23, 2007

Especially in the case of the ring tone Block Party, this seems less like a case of sampling and more like a wholesale cover without recognition. The baseline is from the MOD, the melody is from the MOD, most of the instruments are the same as the MOD. He didn't loop a 3 second sample of the song, he took the whole song and passed it off as his own creation.
posted by demiurge at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2007

What I'd like to know is why Timberland hasn't sued him for trademark infringement.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:43 AM on March 23, 2007

smackfu, the samples on Paul's Boutique were cleared, believe it or not. They had a lawyer working on it full-time for a while.
posted by hilker at 11:32 AM on March 23, 2007

I thought that there was a change in copyright law some time after Paul's Boutique came out that made it a lot more difficult to clear samples- fallout from the Biz Markie/Gilbert O'Sullivan and De La Soul/Turtles lawsuits (and also was one reason the Beastie Boys went back to playing instruments on their next album). I've heard that under current copyright law Paul's Boutique could never get made.

And even though they got all samples cleared after that, they were still sued again (but won).
posted by Challahtronix at 12:08 PM on March 23, 2007

Well, the law didn't change exactly, but those cases did clarify what was kind of a murky frontier area up to that point. And with that clarity, rightsholders saw that they could demand more from people who wanted to sample their records. Reportedly, most of the samples on Paul's were cleared with no money changing hands - people were flattered that the Beasties' attorney went to the trouble of tracking them down and asking permission. Post-Biz/De La, that was no longer operative; samplees expect to get paid now. Not so much "it's illegal to make Paul's now," more "it would be prohibitively expensive to make Paul's now." At least that's my understanding.
posted by hilker at 12:34 PM on March 23, 2007

My recommended s3m: Point of Departure. Awesome song. Slightly dated 12 years on, but fun.
posted by sleslie at 4:58 PM on March 23, 2007

My mom said, when Alabama got caught illegally recruiting players, something that I think fits very well in this Timbaland situation:

"They all do it, they were just dumb enough to get caught."
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 7:07 PM on March 23, 2007

I'm pretty sure the big changes in sampling law/ handling came after Odelay, not Paul's Boutique. Being why the late '90's was so much about songs wrapped around one sample, Puff Daddy, etc.

Timbaland is generally awesome.
posted by furiousthought at 12:31 AM on March 24, 2007

« Older Big Brutus' Glory days   |   Death of a Real-Life Natural Born Killer Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments