Today, Kraftwerk lost its vindictive, 19-year-long copyright suit against Sabrina Setlur, whose 1997 song "Nur mir" looped a drum sequence from Kraftwerk's 1977 "Metall auf Metall."
The court found that sampling had helped create hip-hop music, and held that if a sample's effect on the rightsholder's usage rights is "negligible, then artistic freedom overrides the interest of the owner of the copyright."
In support of his case, Kraftwerk's Ralf Huetter (who had previously obtained a court order requiring the suppression of Nur mir) cited the Bible, insisting "that the commandment 'thou shalt not steal' applied also to music."
Germany's constitutional court acknowledged sampling as one of the "style-defining elements" of hip-hop in overturning the previous court verdict that was in favour of Kraftwerk.
It noted that imposing royalties on composers could be crippling as copyright owners can demand any amount, or they can simply reject the request for usage.
Composers should be allowed to create works without any financial risks or restrictions in the creative process, argued the court.
Sampling is therefore permitted if it is part of a new composition that does not stand in direct competition to the sampled work, and does not hurt the music patent owners financially, the German court found.
E-music pioneers Kraftwerk lose copyright case
(via Rolling Stone)
(Image: KRAFTWERK im Kiew, Amakuha, CC-BY-SA)
[My EFF colleague Katharine is back with a very important message about a singularly stupid and dangerous legislative proposal that is steamrolling through Congress; even by the standards of stupid and dangerous Congressional copyright rules, this one is an exception -Cory] Every year, for a couple of years now, Congress has debated passing some version […]
In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my Green European Journal short story about the terrible European Copyright Directive which passed last March, False Flag. Published in December 2018, the story highlights the ways in which this badly considered law creates unlimited opportunities for abuse, especially censorship by corporations who've been embarassed by whistleblowers and […]
Canada's Conservative Party is terrible, and it has terrible policies, and it will be terrible for Canada if they are elected. I already voted against them with my mail-in ballot. That said, the CBC is 100% wrong to sue the Tories for copyright infringement over the inclusion of short debate clips in Conservative campaign websites […]
Whether you own or rent your place, insurance on that home is a necessary hassle – but a new tech-driven company called Lemonade is starting to show that while it might indeed be a necessity, it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here’s the way insurance typically works: You pay premiums and hope an accident […]
People tend to keep luggage around for a long time. And why not? New suitcases are pricey, and no matter how banged up or patched up that old bag gets, it still holds your clothes. Right? Maybe not. Here are 15 travel bags and accessories that make a strong case for upgrading your gear. They’ve […]
Do you own a Mac? Unless you’re using it for a paperweight, you almost can’t afford not to get the Magnificent Mac Bundle. It’s a roundup of some truly essential security and file management apps, bundled up with great photo and video enhancers. The best part is that all nine apps are potentially available for […]