Grand Theft Auto, a game made famous for beating to death hookers and running over old people with tanks, has just been banned by a Brazillian judge. The reason: an 8 year old was sampled in one featured song and was used without the permission of the boy’s father:
Despite being on iTunes in instrumental and remix forms, ‘Kid Conga’ allegedly makes use of an unauthorised sample from another song, ‘Bota o Dedinho pro Alto’, written by Brazilian composer Hamilton Lourenço da Silva, father of MC Miltinho…
The Brazilian court has ruled that Rockstar is therefore “restricted from trading and distributing the expansion Episodes From Liberty City”, and wants copies pulled from shelves worldwide. It also wants digital versions pulled, with the threat of a R$5,000 (around £1900) fine for each day that the game remains on sale.
So, a game that took millions of dollars to develop, has global distribution, and has had millions of intellectual inputs from a vast array of source, now should be shelved for sampling a clip from an obscure child which can be freely heard on YouTube. This shows the vast thuggery of Copyright law.
To make a million dollar game, movie, or any other wide scoped project, one will always violate some sort of copyright. Art works by building on the ideas of others. There is no possible way to do otherwise. But copyright laws are not about creation, they are about stagnation and government control.