In Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films,' the Sixth Circuit tackled an issue that has been plaguing the music industry for nearly two decades. Digital sampling is a staple of the rap and hip-hop creative process, but there is very little precedent on or clarity about how to determine if sampling infringes on a sound recording copyright. In Bridgeport I, the defendant, No Limit Films, released the film I Got the Hook Up (Hook Up) and included the song "100 Miles and Runnin' ("100 Miles") on the film soundtrack. As with many typical rap songs, "100 Miles" sampled from another song. The plaintiff, Westbound Records, Inc. ("Westbound"), claimed co-ownership of the sound recording copyright to the sampled song, "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" ("Get Off"), by George Clinton, Jr. and the Funkadelics. Although No Limit Films obtained an oral license from the co-owners of "100 Miles" to use the song in the film soundtrack, Westbound claimed that "100 Miles" contained an unauthorized sampling of "Get Off."
"Taking New Steps Against Digital Sampling: The Sixth Circuit Lays Down the Law on Digital Sampling, but Will it Really Improve Industry Practices?,"
Tennessee Journal of Law & Policy:
3, Article 6.
Available at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/tjlp/vol2/iss3/6