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Friday, November 21, 2008

Kraftwerk Sample Case Overturned

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.


eric .5b said...

Any word if Blue Man Group will be suing Kraftwerk for stealing their shtick?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hmmm, I wonder if this means that Jonny Greenwood will get a retroactive Academy Award nomination for the soundtrack of There Will be Blood, previously disallowed for using a few bars of Beethoven.

Dale said...

I love the title of this post and each time I click over here, I read it and smile. That's okay right?

Sean Wraight said...

DALE - I encourage your smiles. Far better than eliciting a smirk.
However, if ever I do get a guffaw out of you, please inform me.