Sixth Circuit seems to take an extreme view that there is no such thing as de minimis infringement of a sound recording in the context of digital sampling. Therefore, all digital sampling is subject to compulsory licensing. This was one of 500 counts brought against 800 defendants brought by the copyright owners of George Clinton and Funkadelic’s work.
Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films, (6th Circuit, Sept 7 2004).
George Clinton’s Sample Some Of Disc, Sample Some of DAT here.
UPDATE: World famous copyright lawyer Craig Mende calls in to emphasize that he agrees with the Sixth Circuit’s own observation that this holding is without precedent. He points out that in seemingly analogous situations, such as the brief use of a photograph in a movie, circuit courts have allowed ‘de minimis’ use (Sandoval v. New Line, 147 F.3d 215 (2d Cir 1998).