Excellent post by Tim Johnson, aka The Rambler, denouncing Tuesday's federal appeals court decision against musical sampling. The ruling would force hip-hop artists and other sample-happy musicians to pay for even the tiniest snippet of pre-recorded music. Johnson notes how much art of the past and present — György Kurtág's compositions, Shakespeare's Hamlet — could be judged plagiaristic by such a strict standard. I don't know the legal or economic realities of the situation, but it seems to me that this harsh judgment might have disastrous results, especially for low-paid experimenters who play with samples for a living. Ironically, the decision was made in favor of George Clinton's record label, which was trying to seek profits from a Fundakedelic sample in the 1990 NWA track "100 Miles and Runnin." As All Hip Hop notes, Clinton himself was not against sampling, though he did try to seek compensation on a graded scale: "If they sell records, they pay, if they don't they can try again." What are the chances of such a reasonable, pragmatic approach becoming the norm? Slim. Then again, I wonder whether it might not be a good thing for music to be forced away from the collage aesthetic for a while. Perhaps voices and instruments are due for a second coming.