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In this video, Berklee Online instructor E. Michael Harrington discusses a case of replay interpolation that went to court: The Sugarhill Gang and Busta Rhymes. In his 1996 song, “Woo-hah!! Got You All in Check” Busta Rhymes says the title line, which was argued was an interpolation of the Sugarhill Gang’s 1980 song, “8th Wonder,” which features the line, “Woo-ha, got them all in check.” Scholars will also note that the original line was sampled in the Beastie Boys’ 1989 song, “Shake Your Rump,” which was released before sampling cases began entering the court house. The Sugarhill Gang sued Busta Rhymes in 2012, and Busta Rhymes sued back, stating that the phrase was unique. The parties reached an undisclosed settlement in 2015.
About E. Michael Harrington:
Dr. E. Michael Harrington is a professor in music copyright and intellectual property matters. He has lectured at many law schools, organizations, and music conferences throughout North America, including Harvard Law, George Washington University Law, Hollywood Bar Association, Texas Bar, Minnesota Bar, Houston Law Center, Brooklyn Law, BC Law, Loyola Law, NYU, McGill, Eastman, Emory, the Experience Music Project, Future of Music Coalition, Pop Montreal, and others. He has worked as a consultant and expert witness in hundreds of music copyright matters including efforts to return “We Shall Overcome” and “This Land Is Your Land” to the public domain, and has worked with director Steven Spielberg, producer Mark Burnett, the Dixie Chicks, Steve Perry, Busta Rhymes, Samsung, Keith Urban, HBO, T-Pain, T. I., Snoop Dogg, Collin Raye, Tupac Shakur, Lady Gaga, George Clinton, Mariah Carey, and others. He sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Popular Culture, advisory board of the Future of Music Coalition and the Creators Freedom Project, and is a member of Leadership Music. Michael has been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg Law, Wall Street Journal, Time, Huffington Post, Billboard, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Money Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, People Magazine, Life Magazine, and Washington Post, in addition to BRAVO, PBS, ABC News, NBC’s “Today Show,” the Biography Channel, NPR, CBC and others. He teaches Music Business Capstone and Music Licensing courses at Berklee Online, and is the course author and instructor for Music Business Law, part of the curriculum for Berklee Online’s Master of Art in Music Business degree.
About Berklee Online:
Berklee Online is the continuing education division of Berklee College of Music, delivering online access to Berklee’s acclaimed curriculum from anywhere in the world, offering online courses, certificate programs, and degree programs. Contact an Academic Advisor today:
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Copyright Law | E. Michael Harrington | Sampling | Copyright Infringement | Interpolation | Replay | Busta Rhymes | The Sugarhill Gang | Beastie Boys | Woo-hah | Sound | Composition | Songwriter | Songwriting | Technique | Sound Recording | Songwriters | Berklee Online | Berklee College of Music