What do musicians talk about when they talk about copyright?

Street, John ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9650-063X and Phillips, Thomas ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1732-4514 (2017) What do musicians talk about when they talk about copyright? Popular Music and Society, 40 (4). pp. 422-433. ISSN 0300-7766

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Based primarily on interviews with musicians who sit on the margins of the music industry and for whom music is not their main source of income, this paper reports on how these artists and performers think and talk about copyright. If, as many suppose, the business of making music is more and more about the distribution of rights, how are these rights understood and values in the practices of these musicians? What are these rights seen to protect and to what end? The paper explores these questions by considering how aspiring musicians connect their thoughts about their music and its value to them, to claims made – ostensibly on their behalf – by a copyright regime that is intended to reward their creativity. Their attitudes are often a mixture of the pragmatic and principled, where that pragmatism is not simply linked to money, any more than principle is solely about the musicians’ claims as creators. Information can be more valuable than cash; loyalty to their fellow musicians more prized than the recognition of individual talent. Such views run counter to many of the assumptions that ground copyright, suggesting that, for this group of artists at least, ‘copyright’ assumes a different guise to that conventionally assumed.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Cultural Politics, Communications & Media
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Policy & Politics
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Competition Policy
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2016 08:05
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 12:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/57219
DOI: 10.1080/03007766.2015.1126099


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