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The European Court of Justice has published the reasons for its ruling in the long-running Kraftwerk sampling case.


  • The case was originally filed in 1999 and made its way from the Landgericht (Regional Court) in Hamburg to the Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court), then the Bundesgerichtshof (German Federal Court of Justice) and then back to the Oberlandesgericht. The case then made its way to the Bundesgerichtshof for a second time.

Features and Benefits

  • Explains why the ECJ made its ruling in the long-running Kraftwerk case.
  • Examines each of the six questions referred to the ECJ by the Bundesgerichtshof.

Key questions answered

  • When is a music sample considered to be copyright-infringing?
  • When can a music sample be used that does not infringe copyrights?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • End in sight for the Metall auf Metall sampling dispute
  • When a reproduction is not a copy
  • Overstretching harmonization and the use of quotations


  • Author