A German court has ruled that a producer who sampled two seconds of song by electro pioneers Kraftwerk was not violating copyright.
The ruling overturns an earlier decision against producer Moses Pelham's use of a short sample from Metal on Metal. The brief sample appeared in the rhythm section of a song Pelham produced for German rapper Sabrina Setlur. Judges in Berlin said the two second extract did not infringe copyright, as his song was substantially different.
The move will come as a blow to artists who object to rivals using samples of their work to create new songs.
Kraftwerk's case was originally heard in a state court in Hamburg. It ruled in Kraftwerk's favour and said reusing even the shortest bit of a song infringed copyright.
In light of today's ruling, the Hamburg court will now have to take up the case again.
Personally, the decision seems to make a lot of sense and is reflective of a much more reasonable approach than say the present North American judiciary view. As always though, I welcome your comments and viewpoints on this divisive issue.