July 7, 2010

Why Hasn’t the Record Industry Sued Girl Talk?

DJ Spooky, Benjamin Franzen (Director of Copyright Criminals) and others discuss fair use law in music during a panel at SXSW 2010.

Since the 1991 Grand Upright court decision, it has become conventional wisdom that the failure to license a music sample is a sure path to a lawsuit. Yet, last year, Girl Talk famously released an album with more than 300 uncleared samples. Experts consider the changing state of fair use law in music through the lens of the question: why hasn’t Girl Talk been sued for copyright infringement?


2 Responses

  1. Interesting points.

    I had no idea what fair use was so I decided to share it with everybody.

    Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as for commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching or scholarship. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work under a four-factor balancing test. The term fair use originated in the United States. A similar principle, fair dealing, exists in some other common law jurisdictions. Civil law jurisdictions have other limitations and exceptions to copyright.

  2. So to me that sounds like forgiving incidents of copyrite infringement based on its impact on the work you are creating. Am I reading into that wrong?