Publication Date



13 p. ; An outstanding student paper selected as a Honors Paper.


Copyright law governing digital music sampling is faced with two competing interests: (1) owners of recording and composition copyrights need to be reasonably compensated when their creative works are re-used by sampling artists, but (2) sampling artists should have a reasonable degree of freedom to rework fragments of existing recordings at a reasonable cost. A system is needed that balances these interests and that reduces the degree of uncertainty that arises whenever a sample gets used that infringes a copyright. This Essay will discuss the current state of the law as it relates to digital sampling and will proceed to articulate five goals that this Author believes should be taken into account by any proposed solution to the sampling problem. It will then discuss the various proposed solutions, evaluating each one's strengths and weaknesses with respect to the five goals, and ultimately conclude that compulsory license schemes are best suited to solving or at least minimizing the problem.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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