Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Timbaland's sample controversy court case concludes

It's been 2 years now since the release of Nelly Furtado's "Do It" and the overwhelming fanfare and controversy that followed. I can still remember when the story first broke, Timbaland had allegedly stolen a sample from Finnish C64/Amiga demoscener Janne "Tempest" Suni for Nelly Furtado's single "Do It." Actually the sample in question was by Glenn Rune Gallefoss but was a remix of the the original which was composed by Tempest. Those of us familiar with Timbo's work recognized the sample immediately from the ringtone "Block Party" created before "Do It" as a ringtone for Verizon. After the story first hit the media, what followed was a viral campaign about the allegations that literally spun out of control.

Blogs and music websites went into a frenzy about the controversy, forums were buzzing with opinions, thoughts, and views from people all over the world, and soon youtube videos comparing the 2 songs began popping up everywhere. There were some comparison videos with experienced producers/beatmakers/demoscneres explaining their thoughts on the 2 samples but there were also plenty of others videos where self addressed "experts" shared their opinions on what was and was not a sample for the mere sake of joining the hype of the story. The Chronicles also covered the controversy which was met with it's own set of comments but soon those comments, along with many others on the net, turned into hate filled, racist remarks that I found myself deleting daily.

Timbaland's myspace was flooded with bigoted messages and comments and The Chronicles' email was also hit for weeks with nasty emails. All this over a sample? Does the color of one's skin matter when it comes to sampling? I was determined to get the real story of the controversy, not what was being presented by random people on youtube. I attempted multiple times to get in contact with Tempest or at least those affiliated with him but never got a response. I was also hoping to hear something from Timbaland but also nothing. What really happened? Unfortunately it didn't look like I'd ever find out and as the weeks continued the story gradually faded and I like the rest of you let it fade too.....but never forgot.

Fast forward to the present day and The Chronicles has learned that after a very long wait the court case regarding the use of the sample in "Do It" has just concluded in a Finnish courtroom. Witnesses for both sides gave their testimonies and as soon as January 24th the public will be made aware of the decision in this case. No details on the specifics of the case have been given but The Chronicles was able to talk with Chris Abbott an expert witness for the plaintiff who released the following statement:

"Although I'm confident in my own testimony (and the other testimony in this
case against Mr. Mosley), there's just no way of knowing which witnesses the
Finnish Court believed, which they won't, or what evidence will prove more
compelling to them. Therefore I'm waiting along with everyone for the
judgement (which should be made public on January 24th), to see how it went.
Of course, that won't even be the end of the story: just the beginning...
but another step in this unfortunately long saga *sigh*"

For all of you who are interested in the outcome of this long standing case stayed tuned to The Chronicles with the possibility of more details on the case. My gratitude and appreciation goes out to Mr. Abbott for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us.

Stay tuned.



  2. I believe in law and order. We should create a fund so he can fight Timbo/Universal and his gang of superlawyers. Cause I smell shit

  3. I do too but he should create his own fund he isn't getting my hard earned money.The truth will come out in some way or another.

  4. One of the few things that i don't always appreciate with Tim, is the way he could blatantly sample a record and then deny it, or claim i don't sample !
    For me, if you do sample, is your at your advantage to tell what's the orginal song and then show them how your incredibly flip it. For example, the way Preemo flipped the orginal song (Jean-Jacques Perrey's "E.V.A.") to get the water-like effect on Gang Starr's "Just to Get a Rep" is just great !

    At least give «give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar»

  5. He already fought the case, it's over now: he got some lawyers, and they fought the case for him without bleeding him dry. So now it's just waiting for the judgement.


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