NewYorkUniversity
LawReview
Current Issue

Volume 74, Number 6

December 1999

Digital Sampling and the Recording Musician: A Proposal for Legislative Protection

Christopher D. Abramson

In this Note, Christopher Abramson argues that Congress should create a statutory property right for musicians whose work is sampled or reused by other recording artists. Abramson examines the technological changes and business arrangements within the recording industry that necessitate this protection. He discusses the inadequacy of existing remedies such as contract and copyright law. Abramson also shows how the existing collective bargaining agreement between the American Federation of Musicians and the record companies fails to address adequately the problems associated with digital sampling. He concludes by calling for the enactment of legislation requiring record companies to compensate musicians whose work is appropriated by sampling.