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Bridgeport Music, v. Dimension Films: Has Unlicensed Digital Sampling of Copyrights Sound Recordings Come to An End?  

Somoano, M. Leah, 21 Berkeley Tech L.J. 289 (2006).

Prior to the decision is Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films, artists either sought licenses before sampling music or did it anyway and rolled the dice on whether or not they would be sued for copyright infringement. Bridgeport Music, Inc. finally offered artists a bright-line rule when it comes to digital sampling: “one may not lift or sample a portion of a sound recording without a license”. The court argued their new approach, by removing de minimis use, would be judicially efficient as there would be no need for individual analysis of future cases’ differences. However, fair use is still available as a defense. The author argues that the new rule likely goes against Congress’ intent in creating the copyright statute, and probably will not change the way sampling occurs.

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