US Courts Split On Legality Of Music Sampling 28/06/2016 by Steven Seidenberg for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment De minimis non curat lex – the law does not concern itself with trifles. This venerable legal principle is applied throughout the world, but not in one part of US copyright law. Copying any part of a sound recording, no matter how tiny, is actionable copyright infringement, according to an eleven year-old US appellate court ruling. Following that ruling, pop star Madonna found herself sued because her hit song, Vogue, allegedly copied a fraction of a second of another song. That copyright infringement suit was thrown out on 2 June, however, when a different appellate court ruled that de minimis infringements of sound recordings do not create any liability. Now US copyright law is in a muddle.