Fair Use, Girl Talk, and Digital Sampling: An Empirical Study of Music Sampling's Effect on the Market for Copyrighted Works
W. Michael Schuster II
October 14, 2013
This Article presents an empirical study on the effect that digital sampling has on sales of copyrighted songs and how this effect should influence the fair use analysis. To conduct this research, a group of previously sampled songs had to be identified and sales information for these songs collected. The over 350 songs sampled in musician Gregg Gillis’s (AKA Girl Talk’s) most recent album presents an ideal dataset because the album’s instantaneous popularity allows for its influence to be analyzed through a comparison of the sampled songs’ sales immediately before and after release. A draft copy of this article found that — to a 92.5% degree of statistical significance — the copyrighted songs sold better in the year after being sampled relative to the year before. The draft is presently under revision to refine and finalize the methodology and conclusions.
Keywords: Girl Talk, Fair Use, Market Effect, Digital Samplingworking papers series
Date posted: October 15, 2013 ; Last revised: October 23, 2013
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