The judicial application of copyright law to digital sampling has led to ever increasing prohibitions on use of music samples, leading to a near prohibition of unlicensed sampling. Current literature tends to analyze how sampling fits into the legal framework, but not how that legal framework affects society. There currently exists a market failure in the music industry in the form of prohibitively costly licensing fees for music samples. Following the development of jurisprudence of digital sampling, I conclude that an erosion of the de minimus use defense by the courts have had a disparate racial impact, thereby eroding rap’s original purpose as a medium for critical social discourse.
- music sampling,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/darrin_henning/2/