A court rules that "no reasonable audience" would find the sampled portions of a 1976 composition significant "nor would they recognize the appropriation."
A lawsuit claiming thatMadonna and producerRobert "Shep" Pettibone illegally sampled a tune on her 1990 international hit "Vogue," has been resolved with a ruling favor of the defendants. The original lawsuit was filed in July by VMG Salsoul, the copyright owner of a 1976 composition called "Love Break." The plaintiff alleged that it was only through new technology that the "deliberately hidden" sampling had been detected.
But a U.S. District Court judge in California has ruled on summary judgment that sampling of the Horn hit was "trivial," in that in could not be recognized.
"Having listened to the sound recordings of Chicago Bus Stop, Love Break, and Vogue, the Court finds that no reasonable audience would find the sampled portions qualitatively or quantitatively significant in relation to the infringing work, nor would they recognize the appropriation," the ruling reads. "The Court finds that any sampling of the Horn Hit was de minimis or trivial."
Says attorney Richard Busch, who represented the defendants: "We are thrilled with the decision, and believe it is absolutely the right result."