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)
Since the earliest days of the "semantic web,", millions of dollars and hours of coding effort have been thrown at the problem of really organizing large corpuses of information, with two approaches emerging: rigid ontologies (like the Dewey Decimal system) that require a system's users to be deeply expert in the structures they're working in; […]
In 1971, the Australian indigenous artist Harold Thomas created the iconic Australian Aboriginal Flag which has since been named one of the "official flags of Australia," which resulted in Thomas successfully suing to assert copyright over the design.
[Editor's note: Whenever governments review their copyright, one of two things happens: either they only listen to industry reps and then come to the "conclusion" that more copyright is always better; or they listen to stakeholders and experts and conclude that a little goes a long way. Normally, when the latter happens, the government that […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]
Heading abroad? Even if it’s just a short trip, there’s a lot to prepare for. Travel can be incredibly rewarding, but it can tricky to navigate different cultures and lodging arrangements – and even trickier to do it cheaply. Before you go shopping for suitcases, here’s our pick for a good first investment: The Ultimate […]