German court hands Kraftwerk its ass, rules sampling is legal


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90-year-old fills in $90,000 crossword art, now claims copyright

The funny thing about this is there’s an alternate version, slower, without the Kraftwerk sample and it sounds about 5x better overall.

But I agree, sampling is a valid artistic technique, and if you’re creating something that does no harm to the original artist it should be permitted. Attribution would certainly be polite, though.


Holy crap, awesome.


Still my favorite case-in-point argument for keeping sampling legal:


Good news for Bieber?


Does he have a lawsuit pending in Germany?


So. . .Germany is officially less restrictive to artists than the USA now?





Well, part of the problem was that in Germany there is no general doctrine directly equivalent to fair use.


Endtroducing is a hell of an album.


I’ve been saying for a while now that there is a long - and probably growing - list of countries that are as free or freer than the US, across all of a range of metrics, not just artistic (incl economic, press, personal, etc)


Yeah, but only if you count 99.9% of the population.


Let’s hope Ralf never finds out about Bambaata. And, you know, everyone else.


oh, yeah. Silly me - the 99.9% that don’t matter …

Carry on. As you were. Nothing to see here.


Look, freedom of speech just means that the government can’t pass a law against you saying what you think. It doesn’t mean they can’t put you on an extra-judicial kill list for saying what you think.


Oh, of course, I agree, but I made the comment semi-sarcastically. The US likes to think of itself as “the land of the free”, but saying that phrase over and over doesn’t make it so.


The emphasis is really on “the brave”.


Whereas I don’t disagree with the ruling… I fail to see how sampling being essential to hip hop makes it legal. I mean killing people is essential to working as a hitman still not legal.


The use of samples and remix culture defines the entire musical genre of hip-hop. Crafting samples into something entirely new is very different than plagiarism, and that’s the definition Germany’s ruling on. I don’t think that comparing the work of a hip hop producer to murder is really appropriate.


You would think that a band playing such an important part in the history of electronic music would be familiar with the concept of musique concrète, and be more forgiving of sampling (even if sampling another artist’s recording is different than say taping a waterfall or dishes being washed).

That said, I love Kraftwerk’s music.