Madonna wins Vogue copyright case in US appeal court
Court sides with singer in copyright lawsuit that alleged a producer had copied horn arrangement used in 1990 hit
Pop star Madonna has prevailed in a copyright lawsuit concerning her song Vogue in which the plaintiff alleged that a producer had copied a fraction of a second of a horn arrangement from an earlier song and used it in the 1990 hit.
A US appeal court ruled yesterday that a general audience would not recognise the 0.23-second snippet in Vogue as originating from the song Love Break by the Salsoul Orchestra. The plaintiff, VMG Salsoul LLC, which owns the copyright to the song, could not immediately be reached for comment.
One of the producers of Vogue, Shep Pettibone, also recorded Love Break in the early 80s, according to the court ruling. VMG Salsoul alleged that Pettibone had sampled the “horn hit” from the earlier work and added it to Vogue.
Three judges of the 9th circuit court of appeals ruled 2-1 in favour of Madonna, Pettibone and other defendants including Warner Bros Records. The dissenting judge, Barry Silverman, said even a small sample of music used without a licence should be ruled a violation.