Moses Pelham

Kraftwerk loses hip-hop music-sampling copyright case 

After a decades-long battle, the Bundesverfassungsgericht (the supreme German Constitutional Court) has overturned a ban on a song that used a two-second sample of a Kraftwerk recording. In 1997, music producer Moses Pelham used a clip from 1977 release Metall auf Metall (Metal on Metal) in the song Nur mir (Only Mine) performed by Sabrina Setlur.

Pelham successfully argued that sampling is common practice in the hip hop genre and that in some cases “artistic freedom overrides the interest of the owner of the copyright.” The court agreed that imposing arbitrary royalty fees on composers could stifle creativity and that sampling should be permitted if it does not constitute direct competition to the sampled work, and does not damage the rightsholders financially.

Source: Kraftwerk loses hip-hop music-sampling copyright case | Ars Technica

Get the latest RightsTech news and analysis delivered directly in your inbox every week
We respect your privacy.