The case at the crux of this new ruling focuses on the 1990 N.W.A song "100 Miles and Runnin'." The track samples a three-note guitar riff from a 1975 Funkadelic track, "Get Off Your Ass and Jam." The sample, in which the pitch has been lowered, is only two seconds long but is looped to extend to 16 beats and appears five times throughout the track.
In 2002, a lower court said that although the Clinton riff was in fact entitled to copyright protection, the specific sample "did not rise to the level of legally cognizable appropriation," according to the AP. The appeals court opposed that decision, explaining that an artist who acknowledges that they made use of another artist's work may be liable, and sent the case back to the lower court.
"Get a license or do not sample," the court said Tuesday. "We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way."
Court Rules That All Musical Samples Must Be Paid For
Current Music: Curve -- Forgotten Sanity ♬