Jay Z won a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement case alleging that his alleged sampling and use of the word “oh” in an audio recording and music video entitled Run This Town. Jay Z allegedly sampled the recorded “oh” from the recording Hook &Sling Part I Eddie Bo and the Soul Finders. The “oh” in question appears once in Hook & Sling but allegedly appears 42 times in Run This Town. In a direct refutation of the Bridgeport Music case from the 6th Circuit, the SDNY court relied on 2nd Circuit precedent that distinguishes between “factual copying” and “actionable copying.” The former “requires only the fact that the infringing work copies something from the copyrighted work; the latter . . . requires that the copying is quantitatively and qualitatively sufficient to support the legal conclusion that infringement . . . has occurred.” Judge Kaplan concluded that “In arguing that the Court should find qualitative significance simply because defendants have actually copied its work, plaintiff improperly conflates factual copying and actionable copying.”
Heres an example
Just a little sample
How I could just kill a man
Cypress Hill, How I Could Just Kill a Man © 1991
A quick note about the dangers of sampling. Sony Music Entertainment has apparently settled an infringement claim brought by Drive-In Music. In its suit, Drive-In Music claims that its copyrighted song Come on In by The Music Machine was sampled by the band Cypress Hill in their 1991 hit song How I Could Just Kill a Man. The terms of the settlement were not announced.
The original song by The Music Machine is here:
Cypress Hill’s song is here:
The First Amended Complaint is here:
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Murder… murder was the case that they gave me…
Murder Was The Case, Doggystyle © 1993
Though he faced little chance of ending up in jail (again), it appears that Snoop Dogg (a.k.a. Calvin Broadus) has settled a copyright infringement suit brought against him by Michael Henderson. It appears that some of Henderson’s song Riding from his 1979 album Do It All was sampled by Snoop on his song Flashbacks a.k.a. Hands on the Wheel, which Snoop apparently released as digital singles and on a mix tape. As you can hear below, there isn’t any question that Flashbacks is a slowed-down sample of Riding.
The amended complaint is below:
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