This is why it’s important to get your affairs in order before you release a song that includes samples of another song.
You know the mega-hit song from Diddy, the 1997 tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. “I’ll be missing you” right? Well it seems Diddy never asked the original creator, Sting from the group “The Police” if he could use part of that song for his own creation. If he did, Sting would have probably gotten 25 percent of the publishing royalties. So because Diddy never got approval and because of copyright law, Sting was given 100% of the royalties. The song sold seven million copies netting Sting $730k, about 2k in royalties every day!
And get this…Sting’s voice isn’t even on Diddy’s track! It’s the drummer Andy Summers’ guitar riff, but Andy doesn’t get a dime because he never pushed for a co-writing credit on the original. Andy, upset at how this played out, called this, quote, “The major rip-off of all time.” He will surely be missing that money.