One of my favorite music biz related articles from The Onion has always been this late-90s classic - Nation's Rappers Down to Last Two Samples. Joking aside, sampling can be a part of making a great song, and it's not a practice completely isolated to a single genre. What that means is that many of you are out there right now using samples - and if you want to sell those songs to your fans, then those samples need to be cleared.
Make no mistake about it. Selling a song with an uncleared sample is not cool and could mean disaster (financial and otherwise) for you. Sometimes people tell me about all the people they know who have flown under the radar with uncleared samples, but not only is that really bad practice, it could lead to legal and financial wrangling the likes of which most of us have nowhere near enough bank to face.
Unfortunately, the process of clearing samples can get complicated (to say the least) and in most cases, no one really has any obligation to let you use a sample at all, let alone use it for a budget friendly price. A pretty picture? No, but one you can't ignore. Just how does this all work? Learn more about the process of sample clearance.