The case was brought by representatives of one of my childhood heroes George Clinton for use by an NWA track of three notes of a Clinton guitar riff that was re-pitched and looped to a 16-bar phrase.
Hero or no, genius or no it’s depressing to see Clinton take these kinds of actions. Over a fucking guitar riff. So it’s perfectly legal to use James Brown’s horn licks as inspiration for 100’s of your records (assuming you’re just using, you know, minor, unrecognizable snippets and then manipulating them to be your own) but you’re a criminal if the next generation of musician’s dare use three notes of your guitar riff. Fuck you.