Digital DJ Tips reader Richard writes: “I am new to this art and would like to know more from you about something that’s been on my mind since I started. Are there are restrictions to remix songs without the knowledge of the singer / composer, etc of that song, and doing something to get permission? Or are DJs free to remix any songs they like?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
You can re-edit, remix mash up and generally mess with what you like for your own DJ sets, and often even upload to YouTube to show off your work if you like. (YouTube will just inform you you’ve used copyrighted material, and put visual advertising over your track and pay the record labels etc on your behalf.) But what you can’t do is make any money at all out of your unofficial “remixes”, and many services (SoundCloud springs to mind) will often not let you upload such mixes at all. But for personal use, for practice, for creative reasons, for your DJ sets and private mixtapes, I’d say go ahead and don’t worry too much about it!
Is this your experience where you happen to be in the world? Have you been surprised what you can “get away with”, or conversely, been reprimanded over what you thought was just creative use of material? Please share your thoughts in the comments.