Keith Negus / John Street / Adam Behr: Digitisation and the Politics of Copying in Popular Music Culture
Musicians are at the forefront of discussions around revenue loss in the music industry, yet often neglected in existing studies which usually focus on corporate perspectives or audience activities. Drawing on extensive interviews with musicians operating in different genres – and at different points in their careers – within the broad field of popular music this paper presents initial observations from an investigation of how the notion of ‘original’ ideas and rights of access (and hence copyright) are negotiated by practicing musicians. How do they regard duplicating without permission in order to circulate free copies or bootlegs? How do they see the practice of appropriating, reusing, sampling and imitating? How does this relate to the existing legal and policy framework?
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Creativity, Competition and the Collecting Societies. John Street (University of East Anglia, UK)
Why do democratic states regulate music? What values do they hope to realise? Many different answers are given (‘diversity’, ‘excellence’, ‘innovation’, etc.), but typically the assumption is that music is, in some way, ‘special’, both in resepect of other market goods and even in respect of other cultural goods. This paper explores the politics of the regulation of markets in music, first by considering the claim to ‘specialness’, and then by considering how the link between creativity and competition has been imagined in policy and in practice. The paper ends by focusing on key actors in the market in music – the collecting societies. These bodies, central to the realisation of income in the digital economy, have been largely overlooked, and yet they are crucial players in determining the interplay of competition and creativity. They help shape the market in politically and culturally significant ways, and so determine the values.
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