Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Kraftwerk Loses Copyright Case Over Two Second Sample

In 1997, music producer Moses Pelham used a sample that was two seconds long from Kraftwerk's Metall auf Metall (Metal on Metal - released in 1977) in the song Nur mir (Only Mine) performed by Sabrina Setlur. Kraftwerk's Ralf Huetter sued Pelham for copyright infringement and won in 2012. Pelham appealed and on Tuesday 31st May the German Supreme Court returned a verdict of fair use, i.e. that sampling should be permitted if it does not constitute direct competition to the sampled work, and does cause the rightsholders  any actual loss. That Kraftwerk felt the need to sue over two seconds' worth of music is insanity. Thankfully, the public interest in culture prevailed.

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