Sampling ethics

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

When is sampling a bad thing and when a good thing?

It's considered that sampling a sampled instrument, resampling, is not an ethical thing to do. I can understand it, but I would say it is not so creative. But sampling a Mellotron is not creative either. You don't even need to loop it. No multi layered samples, super easy!

Sampling drum samples is super easy too. Take an 808 and sample it. Is that ethical sampling? What if I resample the 808 sample? Maybe change the attack of the sampled 808? My artistic decision to improve it. Maybe many people like that.

In music you could say that artistic expression is a needed factor. We all make stylistic samples of the past, we are all copying in a way. But when we copy something without changing it, or without putting it into a new surrounding, we often consider it as simply stealing. I would say it is never stealing (nothing is taken away, when you sample a violin you're not stealing the violin), but it is copying. But let's be fair: this kind of copying can be considered as artistic expression or not.

But making sample libraries is often not an artistic expression. Many sample libraries want to be a perfect copy of the 808 for example. This makes it hard because when Roland considers it is okay to sample a 808, why would resampling a sampled 808 not be okay? There's no artistic expression, it's simply copying. And maybe during resampling we can change something, improve it. So you're not making a copy, you make a new drumsample.

But still, resampling sampled material is often considered as stealing. I can understand it, it's not creative, but at the same time this how sampling works. You make a recording. And making a recording is easy. So a rerecording of a recording is just as easy.

So tell me, when is sampling a bad thing?

Please be respectful to each other in this discussion. I am aware that many people are sensitive when it comes to these kind of things. It's just text on screen, just an opinion. Accept that we all try to share opinions.

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esselfortium
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Post 10 Jul 2019

Marco, this is absurd even for you. There is a world of difference between resampling a hardware synth and stealing tens of thousands of recordings done with an orchestra. Are you high, or just planning on becoming the next Andrew Skelton?

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

esselfortium wrote:
10 Jul 2019
Marco, this is absurd even for you. There is a world of difference between resampling a hardware synth and stealing tens of thousands of recordings done with an orchestra. Are you high, or just planning on becoming the next Andrew Skelton?
Can you please be kind and respectful?

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reasonsuser88
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Post 10 Jul 2019

Sampling is a bad thing when you're profiting off somebody else's work and especially when you're selling sampled libraries of other libraries. This is not the same as sampling in a creative context. I recently ripped an entire vocal track from a well-known artist. I justify it with having no intention of marketing and I'm also just a random guy in a rabbit hole.
Lookin' like a corpse at two in the morning.:skull:

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esselfortium
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Post 10 Jul 2019

Much like how i can't replace the logo and credits on a pirate version of Reason and sell it as "Propellant Raisinbran 5.0" without getting some lawyers at my door, this is so obvious it isn't worth dignifying with a more patient response.

With that said, I hope everyone is looking forward to the release of my new RaMen refill, which is just Marco's Rockmen refill but with the combi backdrops replaced with downloaded photos of instant ramen packets. It's legal and completely justified, I swear.

Maybe try releasing your own resampled versions of some Native Instruments libraries and send them an email to let them know. It shouldn't be any problem, right? It's just like sampling an 808.

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

I hate plagiarism.

So I hate it when people claim to have created something when they simply used some one else's work without adding something to it or changing it.

But it would be great though if anyone can use anything. If art is free. But we are not discussion art, we are discussing business.

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reasonsuser88
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Post 10 Jul 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
10 Jul 2019
I hate plagiarism.

So I hate it when people claim to have created something when they simply used some one else's work without adding something to it or changing it.

But it would be great though if anyone can use anything. If art is free. But we are not discussion art, we are discussing business.
Does pitching a vocal down a few semitones count as a worthy change? If we are discussing business, then there shouldn't be any misunderstanding about stealing somebody else's work. I would suggest a poll but I'd wager this matter will put most people against sample library hijackers.
Lookin' like a corpse at two in the morning.:skull:

sleep1979
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Post 10 Jul 2019

esselfortium wrote:
10 Jul 2019
Much like how i can't replace the logo and credits on a pirate version of Reason and sell it as "Propellant Raisinbran 5.0" without getting some lawyers at my door, this is so obvious it isn't worth dignifying with a more patient response.

With that said, I hope everyone is looking forward to the release of my new RaMen refill, which is just Marco's Rockmen refill but with the combi backdrops replaced with downloaded photos of instant ramen packets. It's legal and completely justified, I swear.

Maybe try releasing your own resampled versions of some Native Instruments libraries and send them an email to let them know. It shouldn't be any problem, right? It's just like sampling an 808.
that made me laugh I actually made ramen today
sorry marco

sleep1979
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Post 10 Jul 2019

i don't think there the same thing Marco I think sample patches you have made on your own synths is fine , synths are there for creating and I don't think anyone's worried about a standard 808 you edited its the same as presets
you can use it in your music but you wouldn't just rip the presets and sell them would you ?
( you could copy the settings and get it similar and then its your 808 )
its something that anyone can create in there own bedroom
string libraries on the other hand cost a lot of money to get sounding good , sampling your neighbour with a microphone wouldn't have the same effect , so you couldn't make your own decent string library unless you have a lot of resources

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

reasonsuser88 wrote:
10 Jul 2019
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
10 Jul 2019
I hate plagiarism.

So I hate it when people claim to have created something when they simply used some one else's work without adding something to it or changing it.

But it would be great though if anyone can use anything. If art is free. But we are not discussion art, we are discussing business.
Does pitching a vocal down a few semitones count as a worthy change? If we are discussing business, then there shouldn't be any misunderstanding about stealing somebody else's work. I would suggest a poll but I'd wager this matter will put most people against sample library hijackers.
pitching down a vocal for what? selling as sample?

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reasonsuser88
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Post 10 Jul 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
10 Jul 2019
pitching down a vocal for what? selling as sample?
Pitching a vocal down so you don't get upset with me for plagiarism as I make music in my humble abode. I promise I don't plan on selling it so no need to throw tomatoes at me. That isn't what the core of your topic is about though. We will now proceed to pass judgement upon sample library hijackers.
Lookin' like a corpse at two in the morning.:skull:

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

sleep1979 wrote:
10 Jul 2019
i don't think there the same thing Marco I think sample patches you have made on your own synths is fine , synths are there for creating and I don't think anyone's worried about a standard 808 you edited its the same as presets
you can use it in your music but you wouldn't just rip the presets and sell them would you ?
( you could copy the settings and get it similar and then its your 808 )
its something that anyone can create in there own bedroom
string libraries on the other hand cost a lot of money to get sounding good , sampling your neighbour with a microphone wouldn't have the same effect , so you couldn't make your own decent string library unless you have a lot of resources
so if I sample my neighbour, which I consider as an unique sound, it is okay to resample that? but when I create a sample which took a lot of time it isn't?

I feel that most people think alike Lars Ulrich who felt Napster was stealing music. Which imo wasn't. Copying is never stealing. Might it result in loss of money? It might, but look at the legal Napster 2.0: Spotify. No stealing but a serious lost of money.

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

sleep1979 wrote:
10 Jul 2019
i don't think there the same thing Marco I think sample patches you have made on your own synths is fine , synths are there for creating and I don't think anyone's worried about a standard 808 you edited its the same as presets
you can use it in your music but you wouldn't just rip the presets and sell them would you ?
( you could copy the settings and get it similar and then its your 808 )
its something that anyone can create in there own bedroom
string libraries on the other hand cost a lot of money to get sounding good , sampling your neighbour with a microphone wouldn't have the same effect , so you couldn't make your own decent string library unless you have a lot of resources
if I create in a bedroom, this makes it less precious than when done in a studio? I don't agree on this. it's the works, and nothing but the works. an artist can create a golden product under bad conditions, and a fool creates shit in the most expensice places. it's up to the creative/artist imo.

what's also weird is that presets are never a problem. the woobly bass is "stolen" so many times by preset designers. that seems to be ok. but it's strange that some sounds can be copied and other not. if I build a 808 with a Thor and sample it and sell it, I think it's ok. while I know Roland used that low pitched sine for the first time as bassdrum. but Roland should not be able to claim all 808-ish sounds. there's a limit .

sleep1979
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Post 10 Jul 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
10 Jul 2019
sleep1979 wrote:
10 Jul 2019
i don't think there the same thing Marco I think sample patches you have made on your own synths is fine , synths are there for creating and I don't think anyone's worried about a standard 808 you edited its the same as presets
you can use it in your music but you wouldn't just rip the presets and sell them would you ?
( you could copy the settings and get it similar and then its your 808 )
its something that anyone can create in there own bedroom
string libraries on the other hand cost a lot of money to get sounding good , sampling your neighbour with a microphone wouldn't have the same effect , so you couldn't make your own decent string library unless you have a lot of resources
so if I sample my neighbour, which I consider as an unique sound, it is okay to resample that? but when I create a sample which took a lot of time it isn't?

I feel that most people think alike Lars Ulrich who felt Napster was stealing music. Which imo wasn't. Copying is never stealing. Might it result in loss of money? It might, but look at the legal Napster 2.0: Spotify. No stealing but a serious lost of money.
sampling random things nobody's gonna care about its different to sampling from a sample library when the samples were made to make money
sampling a kid laughing or an ocean or a washing machine noise
or some sawtooths with added filters is hardly the same thing as what skelton did
I get it you make refills this is your thing , I purchased the 80s one from you but you are not doing what he has done
your not gonna justify it your talking about two different things
its like your talking about the chords which everyone can steal and use its public domain

say you took the chords from a john lennon song and you took the complete chord sequence for you rsong ( nothing wrong with that )
but if you take the lyrics and the melody then your stealing his whole song
skelton took the whole lot
your taking the chords
shit metaphore but u get what I mean I think lol

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eusti
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Post 10 Jul 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
10 Jul 2019

if I create in a bedroom, this makes it less precious than when done in a studio? I don't agree on this. it's the works, and nothing but the works. an artist can create a golden product under bad conditions, and a fool creates shit in the most expensice places. it's up to the creative/artist imo.

what's also weird is that presets are never a problem. the woobly bass is "stolen" so many times by preset designers. that seems to be ok. but it's strange that some sounds can be copied and other not. if I build a 808 with a Thor and sample it and sell it, I think it's ok. while I know Roland used that low pitched sine for the first time as bassdrum. but Roland should not be able to claim all 808-ish sounds. there's a limit .
To the first part: Stealing something that is more valuable than something else is in most cases worse and will get a harder punishment.
But if you look at it from a moral point of view, then you could say, it doesn't make a difference... As the intent is the same.
Nobody is denying that you can create art (precious art) in your bedroom. And it is a fact that to produce certain sounds in high quality a certain investment in space, time and expertise is needed.

To the second part: When recreating someone's sound you are - how I understand it - recreating the sound. You are not copying it in a sense that you went to the other person's house and downloaded his patches...
If you make an 808 sound with a tin can I don't think Roland can legally come after you for violating their copyright... Unless you market it as genuine Roland TR 808 sounds... That would be more about using their brand though...

That is my understanding as a non lawyer.

D.

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

sleep1979 wrote:
10 Jul 2019
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
10 Jul 2019


so if I sample my neighbour, which I consider as an unique sound, it is okay to resample that? but when I create a sample which took a lot of time it isn't?

I feel that most people think alike Lars Ulrich who felt Napster was stealing music. Which imo wasn't. Copying is never stealing. Might it result in loss of money? It might, but look at the legal Napster 2.0: Spotify. No stealing but a serious lost of money.
sampling random things nobody's gonna care about its different to sampling from a sample library when the samples were made to make money
sampling a kid laughing or an ocean or a washing machine noise
or some sawtooths with added filters is hardly the same thing as what skelton did
I get it you make refills this is your thing , I purchased the 80s one from you but you are not doing what he has done
your not gonna justify it your talking about two different things
its like your talking about the chords which everyone can steal and use its public domain

say you took the chords from a john lennon song and you took the complete chord sequence for you rsong ( nothing wrong with that )
but if you take the lyrics and the melody then your stealing his whole song
skelton took the whole lot
your taking the chords
shit metaphore but u get what I mean I think lol
I think what he did was bad. but for other reasons. it was not easy what he did. programming an IDT is not at all easy. the gui, the scripts. resampling is also a lot of work. making the samples, in layered velocities, looping them. a lot of work.

what my objection is is that he made it look like he made these samples himself. it's not the copyright I have a problem with, it's the plagiarism. I hate plagiarism.

and about songs: I find copyright weird. melodies are copyrighted but chord sequences are not. this is weird. you can write chord sequences with leading tones which are 100% driving a song in a specific way. not copyrighted. people rapping, not copyrighted. drums? not copyrighted. sound, not copyrighted. so some things are copyrighted, others are not. I find that weird. it's all creative work. inventing a rhythm can be as innovative, useful as inventing a melody containing 5 notes. but who am I? :)

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 10 Jul 2019

eusti wrote:
10 Jul 2019
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
10 Jul 2019

if I create in a bedroom, this makes it less precious than when done in a studio? I don't agree on this. it's the works, and nothing but the works. an artist can create a golden product under bad conditions, and a fool creates shit in the most expensice places. it's up to the creative/artist imo.

what's also weird is that presets are never a problem. the woobly bass is "stolen" so many times by preset designers. that seems to be ok. but it's strange that some sounds can be copied and other not. if I build a 808 with a Thor and sample it and sell it, I think it's ok. while I know Roland used that low pitched sine for the first time as bassdrum. but Roland should not be able to claim all 808-ish sounds. there's a limit .
To the first part: Stealing something that is more valuable than something else is in most cases worse and will get a harder punishment.
But if you look at it from a moral point of view, then you could say, it doesn't make a difference... As the intent is the same.
Nobody is denying that you can create art (precious art) in your bedroom. And it is a fact that to produce certain sounds in high quality a certain investment in space, time and expertise is needed.

To the second part: When recreating someone's sound you are - how I understand it - recreating the sound. You are not copying it in a sense that you went to the other person's house and downloaded his patches...
If you make an 808 sound with a tin can I don't think Roland can legally come after you for violating their copyright... Unless you market it as genuine Roland TR 808 sounds... That would be more about using their brand though...

That is my understanding as a non lawyer.

D.
The stealing part is complicated. Imo it can never be stealing when you copy. Only when you take away something it is stealing. Some people say that downloading mp3 is stealing. But I know people, even a tax expert old friend of mine who downloads gigabytes of music, never listens to them, puts them on a drive. He would never have bought this music. So it's not a lost sale.

I guess it's hard to decide what is more valuable. So on copying data it is very hard to say what the cost of that is.

When the first samplers came out, people said this will make musicians go out of business. It is the truth. In the past a lot of orchestras where used. Or drums. Did these new tools make musicians go out of business. Yes. So sampling is in a way an evil thing. But well, this innovation cannot be stopped. Like a bookkeeping program makes you not needing a bookkeeper.

sleep1979
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Post 10 Jul 2019

No no you cant copywrite chord structures that would be silly ness theres only so many come on , but melodies are limitless , and even then if things sound similar people shouldn’t be shot for it , but if you knowingly took all the ingredients for a song say your neighbour made a song and you heard it and stole it thats kinda what skelton is doing ,bhe is not sampling an 808 on his synth man , he sat there and thought to himself ‘ reason dont have vst or have strings the quality of native instruments and who is gonna know while rubbing his hands with glee , i dont care about big companys like native instruments losing money , i care about people that care if they pay for stuff they want to own it , the moral people there losing out , he should have just sampled some of his irish neighbours playing violin theres a lot of talented Irish musicians i have a lot on my facebook , he could have made some friends started with a solo cello libarie or something

But away from this of all your doing is creating libaries from synths your not stealing fuck all , your creating man
Your not stealing a whole orchestral libary are you ? So chill off your a good guy 🙂

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 11 Jul 2019

Yes we need original sample makers. Not sure if you make profit when doing orchestra sampling for RE. I guess only when it’s available as vst also and the market is saturated.

But melodies are not so unique and copyright issues take place all the time. People are really scared now. And with artificial inteligence people can generate million of melodies and claim it.
This is becoming a huge problem for songwriters. There a lot written about it lately.

Also keep in mind that copyright is not based on international law. So in this day of age that is still a huge problem. When your music is played on Russian radio you might earn nothing. Or Turky and many countries like that. Friend of mine had a huge hit. No money.

Many countries are without copyright laws or weird laws. People can copy your stuff.

I am a member of Creative Commons and am a open source and open content advocate. Without it there would be the internet and this forum. Copyright is not a thing written in stone, it is changing. And that is a good thing. Art needs to be free imo. But we also need to make money. This is a complicated balance I have to deal with every day. Keeps me alive.

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Magnus
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Post 11 Jul 2019

esselfortium wrote:
10 Jul 2019
Marco, this is absurd even for you. There is a world of difference between resampling a hardware synth and stealing tens of thousands of recordings done with an orchestra. Are you high, or just planning on becoming the next Andrew Skelton?
Marco just cannot seem to understand what a thief Andrew Skelton was.

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selig
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Post 11 Jul 2019

Your question is easy to answer: sampling is never a bad thing.

What needs to be understood, in order to avoid legal issues, is when you can and cannot monetize samples (and understand sample clearance). And this subject has been discussed, with plenty of resources available online for anyone still not clear on the subject.

Discussing the legalities without a deep understanding of law would be beyond the scope of most here…
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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 11 Jul 2019

Magnus wrote:
11 Jul 2019
esselfortium wrote:
10 Jul 2019
Marco, this is absurd even for you. There is a world of difference between resampling a hardware synth and stealing tens of thousands of recordings done with an orchestra. Are you high, or just planning on becoming the next Andrew Skelton?
Marco just cannot seem to understand what a thief Andrew Skelton was.
That is not up to me. He has not stolen from me. But I do hope that the ones who got stolen from have sued him. I feel that is not the case at all. And that is super strange!

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selig
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Post 11 Jul 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jul 2019
Magnus wrote:
11 Jul 2019


Marco just cannot seem to understand what a thief Andrew Skelton was.
That is not up to me. He has not stolen from me. But I do hope that the ones who got stolen from have sued him. I feel that is not the case at all. And that is super strange!
Crime victims do not get to decide whether there is a crime or not, at least not in the US (may be different where you are?).

Theft is very easy to understand, and in this case there was such a clear case of theft that there can be no other "opinion".

I don't see the point of this thread - if you don't understand sample law, this is hardly the place to get clarification on the subject.
Selig Audio, LLC

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 11 Jul 2019

selig wrote:
11 Jul 2019
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jul 2019


That is not up to me. He has not stolen from me. But I do hope that the ones who got stolen from have sued him. I feel that is not the case at all. And that is super strange!
Crime victims do not get to decide whether there is a crime or not, at least not in the US (may be different where you are?).

Theft is very easy to understand, and in this case there was such a clear case of theft that there can be no other "opinion".

I don't see the point of this thread - if you don't understand sample law, this is hardly the place to get clarification on the subject.
The only thing I am interested in: who sued him and did they get what they wanted?

My personal opinion about him is personal and private. Please respect that.

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selig
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Post 11 Jul 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
11 Jul 2019
selig wrote:
11 Jul 2019


Crime victims do not get to decide whether there is a crime or not, at least not in the US (may be different where you are?).

Theft is very easy to understand, and in this case there was such a clear case of theft that there can be no other "opinion".

I don't see the point of this thread - if you don't understand sample law, this is hardly the place to get clarification on the subject.
The only thing I am interested in: who sued him and did they get what they wanted?

My personal opinion about him is personal and private. Please respect that.
Why this thread then? He sold stolen goods as his own, there's no way to debate the "ethics" of that proven act.

Not sure what suing him has to do with this thread and why it matters to you.
Maybe best to close down this thread? (your call)
Selig Audio, LLC

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