Appeals court rules brief "Vogue" horn sample was not copyright infringement


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Anyone have a link to Love Break? Can’t find it.

If it is the horn hit I think it is - how do they know it is a sample? Judge even said it didn’t sound identical. How can you possibly copyright a NOTE or CHORD?


Sorry but weird, misogynistic video aside, Blurred Lines sounds distinctly like Got to Give it Up, upon hearing just the first few notes; whereas a quarter second sample is unlikely to even register for most listeners.

Besides, wasn’t there already some rule in place about music samples with a duration of less than 7 seconds, or am I mistaken?


No ruling on her appropriation of black, gay culture, though?


To be fair, Madge has been a “culture vulture” to pretty much everyone by now.

That’s what happens when you’re always trying to ‘reinvent’ your image every few years so as to stay relevant.

That being said, that particular appropriation did give some exposure to Ball Culture…

“She bring it to you every ball!”

“House of Ninja!”


And let’s add a layer of complexity to this - when Bowie did this very thing, constant reinvention he’s celebrated, while Madonna is condemned for it! Because when (white) men do it, it’s cool, but when (white) women do it, it’s trite.

Of course, bell hooks had no time for either Madonna’s appropriation or Paris is Burning! But it’s a great documentary and an interesting look into the voguing subculture.


I dunno, I think she is celebrated too. Maybe not as much as Bowie… I guess that it is subjective. I mean yes I have heard criticisms, such as what you said above, but at the same time I have heard accolades. Pretty sure when she dies they will be focusing on those accolades from her career.


Fair point, although when I think of Bowie’s method of reinvention, not too much of his evolution smacks of appropriation to me:

Whereas Madonna is a different story, IMO:


It’s so awesome that you’ve actually seen it.

Now, I really want to see a similar documentary that came out recently; Kiki.


Oh, no doubt. I just think you hear more criticism of her than of Bowie for them doing the same thing (the reappropriation of culture into the mainstream).

That’s a good point, too. I’m sure there have been 100 dissertations written on just this point, actually. But couldn’t you say that Bowie has also reappropriated underground cultures (sometimes gay cultures) for his own ends? Or people? Look at his relationship to Klaus Nomi…

Had not heard of it… I’ll have to check it out!


I love you.

I also wonder why the courts aren’t employing high-tech solutions such as… oh… a fast Fourier transform, which has been around for decades, to actually detect actual sampling?



You’d think they’d do that, but not so far, I guess. They are relying on the wisdom of experts to figure that shit out, I guess and each side brings in its own experts, I’m sure. So you have competing experts…


Bowie had gobs of musical talent. Madonna’s main talent seems to be self marketing.


Really? I thought she did a lot of great songs and videos, like, well, Vogue, and Ray of Light, and all the other great tunes we’ve enjoyed over the years. I could remember a few others if I warmed to the task. And it’s not like she didn’t work on her craft, remember how much better her voice got after Evita. I’d agree that she pushed herself on us harder than Bowie did, and that Bowie let himself cover a lot more ground in his mental excursions.


The 9th circuit court found that the sample was “de minimus”

De minimis. It’s plural*, and de takes the ablative.

Sorry, I did Latin at school, and our teacher wasn’t a million miles from this:

except with a voice and stare as chilly as the uplands of Pluto.

[* Edited to add: and neuter.]


I think the real legal principle to learn from the Marvin Gaye incident is: trial lawyers, keep your client off the stand if everyone thinks he’s a twat.


" Which perhaps explains why an extensively imitative passage with no direct sampling might be found infringing, but a short sample re-used in a novel and transformative way is not."

In the first case, there is a dispute over claims of authorship, and in the second there isn’t. The users of the sample aren’t claiming they created the sample, only that they have a fair use right to use it.


I don’t disagree. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I haven’t enjoyed some of her past work. I just feel that when it comes to musical artistry you really can’t compare Bowie and Madonna. Both latched on counterculture scenes and incorporated them heavily into their image and music. The difference for me is whenever Bowie did it, it felt fresh interesting and when Madonna does it, it feels trite and derivative.

I cannot deny is that she’s a very hard worker and a brilliant self marketer. I have way more respect and admiration for those aspects of her than for any of her overall music artistry. That said, she’s more than earned her place in the music biz.


It buttons on the right side,.IT BUTTONS ON THE RIGHT SIDE!


Am I missing a clever reference with my unclever brain meats?


The gentleman in the shiny white dinner jacket