German Court Rules Against Kraftwerk Over Samples

German Court Rules Against Kraftwerk Over Samples
Kraftwerk’s Ralf and Florian are likely a bit grumpier than usual today after being dealt a legal blow stating unsanctioned sampling doesn’t necessarily violate copyright laws.

The decision by Germany’s highest civil court Thursday (November 20) overturns a previous state ruling in the electronic pioneers’ favour that said no matter how small the sample, the act is illegal. The lower state court will now have to take the case up again.

In the new civil ruling, however, the court said that, unless cleared, the sample must not contain the melody to the original song and insisted that the sample had to be part of a totally new musical work bearing no resemblance to the original, the Associated Press reports.

Kraftwerk originally sued German rap producer Moses Pelham because he took a two-second sample from the group’s 1977 song "Metal on Metal” and transformed it into part of the rhythm track of Sabrina Setlur’s 1997 track "Nur Mir.”

There is no word yet whether Justice have heard about this court decision, but we’re betting they are having quite the opposite reaction to Ralf and Florian’s.

Sabrina Setlur "Nur mir”