Yesterday I watched a live video webcast from the Future of Music Coalition's Policy Summit 2011. They introduced me to a company called Legitmix who have an interesting idea and product that might make it possible for musicians to release their remixes, mashups and sampled music without going through the time consuming and costly process of getting copyright clearance for releasing remixes.
The way it works is that to release your track which uses samples you specify which tracks your remix, mashup or mix has sampled from and as long as the listener owns the tracks that have been sampled from then everything is 'legit'. The Legitmix software basically checks the listeners machine to make sure that the original tracks are legally purchased. This development could allow remixers to legally release remixes of tracks as well as earn money for their art.
It's an interesting idea, but what I took away from listening to the Future of Music Summit is that it is believed to be all legal by Legitmix's founder but is somewhat still on shaky ground copyright wise. We'll have to watch to see how it develops.
Anyway I thought it would be well worth pointing this out on here as it could be a development for remixers and musician who use samples in their tracks but who aren't in a position to get the necessary licenses currently required to release legally. I also believe to be successful it will somehow have to be integrated into services such as iTunes, but then you have to wonder whether consumers will think it is worth buying multiple tracks to get hold of one remix that they want, especially if it samples multiple tracks.