The controversial federal court decision over the right to sample a couple of seconds from a sound recording is under challenge by No Limit Films.

The controversial federal court decision over the right to sample a couple of seconds from a sound recording is under challenge by No Limit Films.

The company, owned by Master P, filed a petition today (Sept. 21) with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting that either the three-judge panel in Nashville reconsider their opinion or that 13 appellate judges in the Sixth Circuit reconsider the case, in a procedure known as an "en banc" hearing.

The RIAA also filed a motion and an amicus brief supporting the petition.

The court's Sept. 7 decision in the case of Westbound Records, owner of Funkadelic's recording "Get Off Your Ass and Jam," stunned the music industry when it set out a "new rule" for sound recordings. It stated that a couple of seconds that were sampled from the recording without permission for N.W.A's "100 Miles and Runnin'," part of the soundtrack to No Limit's film "I Got the Hook Up," constituted unlawful infringement.

Such a small "de minimis" part copied from any other type of copyrighted work, including the underlying composition, is not an infringement, however.

No Limit raises three issues in its petition, which has been obtained by Billboard.biz.

First, it claims that the holding conflicts with other Sixth Circuit copyright infringement decisions.

Second, the document states that the opinion conflicts with the "authoritative decisions" of every other U.S. Court of Appeals that has addressed the issue throughout the country.

Third, it says that the court "overlooked or misapprehended" important points. For example, the District Court initially determined that the sampled portion "was not even recognizable" as coming from the Funkadelics' recording. Also, it says, the appellate court's statement that there is a "large body of pre-1971 sound recordings that is not protected" is "simply wrong."

Additionally, No Limit argues that record labels have relied upon prior law, which was that a license was not required for "de minimis" copying of a recording. The new rule, the company claims, potentially exposes labels to "tremendous monetary liability" for statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement, injunctive relief, seizure of infringing copies and attorneys' fees.

Under Sixth Circuit rules, the petition does not require a response from Westbound. If the court grants the petition, the parties will be notified.

Westbound's attorney, Richard Busch with King & Barrow in Nashville, and No Limit's attorney, Robert Sullivan with Loeb & Loeb in Nashville, had no comment on the litigation.