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The EO’s Advocate General has weighed in on the use of uncleared sampling. For Maciej Szpunar, any uncleared sample of any duration counts as infringement. He notes:

“Sampling (generally) involves the direct and permanent reproduction, by digital means and in digital form, of a portion or sample of a phonogram.  It, therefore, seems to be quite clear that that act amounts to an infringement of the right of the producers of the phonogram in question to [authorize] or prohibit such a reproduction made without their permission.”

The situation that sparked this event originated when music producer Moses Pelham used a two-second sequence from German band Kraftwork’s music. Pelham had taken a two-second sequence from the 1977 track ‘Metall auf Metall’ (Metal on Metal) and transformed it into an endless loop for the rapper Sabrina Setlur’s ‘Nur Mir’ (Only Me). Kraftwerk advanced it to court, where the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled two years ago against Kraftwerk’s copyright infringement case.

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