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Sony/ATV division’s ground-breaking initiative will allow undeclared samples to be licensed without risk of legal action


EMI Production Music is taking the innovative step of declaring an amnesty of all sampling declarations (past and present) from its extensive back catalogue of some of the most iconic production music libraries of all time.

The leading production music business, which is a division of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, launches the amnesty today (September 1) with the aim of encouraging new sample requests from its broad catalogue as well as ensuring already existing samples are properly licensed.

Whether it is for a drum break, an electronic segment looped or a freak-out flute solo that has been sampled, anyone coming forward and declaring previously uncleared samples will be given the opportunity to enter into a licence for future use without the fear of a royalty back claim.

The idea behind the amnesty is to give artists, producers and record labels the opportunity to legitimise the samples in their back catalogue. It also aims to encourage new creative use of the expansive archives of the multiple participating EMI libraries, which include KPM, Music House, Ded Good and Selected Sound.

The music produced by EMI Production Music’s labels is specifically created for use in media and includes famous TV themes such as “Grandstand”, “Mastermind” and “ITV News At Ten”, while covering more than six decades of music and every conceivable genre from orchestral to underground dance and cutting-edge indie.

Alex Black, EMI Production Music Global Director, said: “EMI Production Music has a treasure trove of original recordings spanning more than six decades. Our vision for this amnesty is to highlight the wealth of possibilities open to producers working with samples.

“We’re very excited about the new and exciting partnerships that will come from the amnesty. The chance to work with labels and artists who see the value in the library is a very thrilling prospect for us. We are also excited about the potential to bring recognition to our original composers by unearthing great tracks from the past that have sampled their music.”

KPM, along with other EMI Production Music labels such as Music House, Selected Sound and Ded Good, has been used as a source for samples by countless acts over the years. Those who have turned to the KPM vaults include Jay Z, Mark Ronson, Nelly, Fatboy Slim,Schoolboy Q, Gorillaz, Easy-Z, Jurassic 5 and Freestylers. They and others have utilized compositions and recordings by KPM artists such as Alan Hawkshaw, Keith Mansfield andJohnny Pearson who may not be household names but who have created some of the best-loved TV themes of all time, as well as other famous musical hooks.

However, in addition to the many examples of recordings from the catalogue that have been licensed properly, in other cases this has not happened. It is these the amnesty is focusing on in order to allow previously undeclared samples to be licensed and the respective record labels to be able to then fully exploit the licensed master.

The amnesty will run for six months and any music properly licensed during this period will benefit from a licence for future use without any royalty back claim. However, samples which were already subject to clearance discussions and any unlicensed samples discovered by EMI itself will not be covered by the amnesty.

To support the amnesty, EMI Production Music is releasing previously undigitised archive recordings from the KPM Greensleeves or 1000 Series albums and the brown sleeved KPMOriginal Series and other archive labels like Themes International. These will be available on the EMI search system PLAY (

Playlists are also available on Spotify and YouTube - made up of tracks that feature samples from the KPM catalogue. These will illustrate the vast number of KPM tracks that have been used.

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