Madonna has come out on top in the lawsuit filed against her in connection with her song "Vogue." The plaintiff, VMG Salsoul LLC, filed suit in federal court in California, alleging one of the material girl's producers copied a fraction-of-a-second segment of horns from its copyright-protected song "Love Break," which was released in the early 1980's.
In a 2-1 vote on Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California held that a general audience would not recognize the 0.23-second snippet in "Vogue" as originating from the song "Love Break," and thus, ruled in favor of Madonna, producer Shep Pettibone (who worked on both "Vogue" and "Love Break") and other defendants, including Warner Bros Records.
"Defendants copied, at most, a quarter-note single horn hit and a full measure containing rests and a double horn hit," Circuit Judge Susan Graber stated in the opinion. "A reasonable jury could not conclude that an average audience would recognize an appropriation of the 'Love Break' composition."
Robert Besser, a lawyer for VMG Salsoul, told Reuters in a phone interview: "I agree with the dissent because it should be an infringement for copying any piece of any sound recording." He said his client would review its legal options.