Germany’s highest court on Tuesday ruled against Kraftwerk in a case that pitted the samplers against the sampled.
The ruling overturns a ban on the sale of the song Nur mir (Only to me), by music producer Moses Pelham and rapper Sabrina Setlur, which makes use of a sample from Kraftwerk’s Metal On Metal, from Trans-Europe Express.
Germany’s Deutsche Welle reports:
During the long-running case, Kraftwerk’s lead singer Ralf Hütter has insisted that the commandment “thou shalt not steal’ also applied to music. Meanwhile, Pelham argued that sampling is common practice in the hip hop genre.
The court ruled that composers can, under certain conditions, incorporate external audio clips into their own music without asking permission and do not have to pay royalties.
If the copyright infringement is only “marginal,” the court said, then artistic freedom takes precedence over the intellectual property rights of the original musician.
In essence, Germany ruled that hip hop’s use of sampling can be transformative and not just derivative, and that this needs to be taken into account when considering sampling cases.
‘Nur Mir’ vs ‘Metal On Metal’
Is Nur Mir’s use of Metal On Metal more than just copying?
Check out the tracks below and let us know what you think!
Kraftwerk’s Metal On Metal:
Sabrina SetlurNur’s Mir (Only Me) :