In: Frith, Simon and Marshall, Lee eds.
Music and Copyright, 2nd ed.
Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 123–138.
Copyright lies at the very heart of the music business. Copyright law determines the social framework in which music is marketed, artists are rewarded, and all the uses to which their work is put are licensed. And copyright claims and counter-claims are the source of recurring conflict. Who wrote what and when? Who owns these sounds? What are you allowed to do with them? Disputes about copying and theft are becoming ever noisier with digital technology and the new possibilities of sampling, downloading and large-scale piracy.
This book has been written to explain the copyright system to non-legal specialists and to show why copyright issues are so fascinating and so important. Copyright is analysed as a social, economic and legal phenomenon. It is approached from the contrasting perspectives of composers, performers, producers and infringers. Copyright law is seen to be central to the relationship between the global entertainment industry and local musical practices. The questions raised here are not just about music. They concern the very meaning of intellectual property rights in the context of rapid global and technological change. And they are not just about big business. They impinge on all our lives.
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