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15 Megabytes of Fame: A Fair Use Defense for Mash-Ups As DJ Culture Reaches Its Postmodern Limit 

Power, Aaron, 35 Sw. U. L. Rev. 577 (2007).

The author aims to differentiate mash-ups from its two most direct precedents, digital sampling and appropriation art, and then analyzes the strength of the fair use defense as it applies to mash-ups. Music can be art first and commerce second. “The Grey Album” proved that society is willing to accept an album of this kind as legitimate musical art.

A mash-up is a “type of sampling that typically consists of a vocal track from one song digitally superimposed on the instrumental track of another.” A true mash-up is a unique work produced entirely from two pre-exisiting sound recordings, like “The Grey Album”. Mash-ups are distinct from sampling because they more properly appropriate material, and they do this with the intent to comment on that material, much like parody, and fair use should provide them as a defense to copyright law infringement.

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