Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Susan J. Latham


This article discusses how the district court in Newton v. Diamond could have provided the music industry with a path of reasonable determination via which the risk of infringement due to unauthorized digital sampling of a musical composition could be reasonably estimated and prudent licensing decisions made. At the very least, it illuminated a clue through its threshold determination of protectability. However, as the author explains, the court of appeals obscured that clue beneath a conundrum of de minimis use analysis, highlighting the need for courts to settle upon a clear and consistent standard for de minimis use analysis.