Schalast & Partner succeeds at the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) – „Sampling“ is allowed

The first senate of the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsericht) today decided in favor of Schalast & Partner’s clients Pelham GmbH and artists Moses Pelham, Martin Haas, Sarah Connor, Bushido, Sabrina Setlur, Julius Kalmbacher, Melbeatz, Ralf Hildenbeutel, Gentleman, Richard Geppert and Robert Sattler.  The Constitutional Court decided that the so-called “Metall auf Metall” decisions of the German Highest Civil Court (Bundesgerichtshof) regarding the legitimacy of sampling (the use of small samples) infringed the claimants’ artistic freedom as protected by the German constitution under Article 5 para. 3.

In its reasoning the Constitutional Court substantially followed the argumentation of Schalast & Partner that the constitutionally protected artistic freedom within Article 5 para 3 requires the recognition of the use of short samples from copyrighted materials as means of an artistic expression and arrangement.  The use of samples is an essential element of Hip-Hop music.

The press release of the Constitutional Court can be found at: LINK

Judicial Data:

Bundesverfassungsgericht, Urt. v. 31. Mai 2016, Az. 1 BvR 1585/13, („Sampling“)

Bundesgerichtshof, Urt.v.13. Dezember 2012, Az. I ZR 182/11 („Metall auf Metall II“);

Bundesgerichtshof, Urt. v. 20. November 2008, Az. I ZR 112/06 („Metall auf Metall I“);

Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht Hamburg, Urt. v. 17. August 2011, Az. 5 U 48/05;

Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht Hamburg, Urt. v. 7. Juni 2006, Az. 5 U 48/05;

Landgericht Hamburg, Urt. v. 8. Oktober 2004, Az. 308 O 90/99.