Kraftwerk Gets Copyright Smackdown

Die Mensch Maschine got rebuffed by a court in Germany, which told electronica pioneers Kraftwerk that Moses Pelham did not violate their copyrights by using an unauthorized sample of one of their songs, Metal on Metal, in one of his productions.

The ruling overturns an earlier decision against Pelham.

Judges in Berlin said the two second extract did not infringe copyright, as Pelham’s song was substantially different.

While the decision is a victory for people that want to creatively remix and recycle culture, it also increases the likelihood that Kraftwerk’s songs, or your songs, are going to be used as the backing track for a lame, derivative hip-hop track. 

What do you think of this decision?

via BBC

Image: yamchild

6 thoughts on “Kraftwerk Gets Copyright Smackdown

  1. the problem with sampling is that the samplers take all the credits… either they hide the fact that they sample, or the listening crowd is just too dumb to realise who did the true work…

  2. To be perfectly honest, the idea of someone lifting a few seconds of my work and doing something else with it doesn’t bother me…the idea of a company or political entity using my work without permission does. Kind of splitting hairs, I guess.

  3. I tend to agree with being looser on sampling – but, frankly, I hate when there’s a new hit and all they did was take a great 70’s song & sample 4 bars of it.

  4. I am perfectly happy with this decision, but I think that you should give credit if you are using someone else’s work – even if it’s just two seconds that maybe went through filters and are not recognizable anymore.

Leave a Reply