The European Court of Justice has finally ruled in favour of doyens of electronic music, Kraftwerk, for a sampled used in Sabrina Setlur’s 1997 track Nur Mir.
The drum sample from 1977’s Metall Auf Metall was used throughout Nur Mir and while it may have fallen within the legal grey-area of free-use due to its relatively short duration, both Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider-Esleben always maintained that Setlur’s producers, Moses Pelham and Martin Haas, never had permission to use the sample.
The 20-year long saga had been through the German courts, Federal Supreme court and European Court of Justice following the release of Nur Mir.
There is some speculation that this may have wider implications for remix culture with the ECoJ setting a precedent whereby sufficient manipulation of the original material should render the sample unrecognisable and therefore legal.
More details can be found on the Billboard website.