Week 2. Copyright in music industry

In the music industry in order to protect the rights of producers, so there is the emergence of copyright. The copyright provides its owner with a bundle of exclusive rights that only he or she may exercise(Frith & Marshall 2004). Any attempt to use their work without permission may amount to an infringement. That is not to say, however, that copyright provides a complete monopoly over the use of the work. the law also recognizes the need to ensure that a work can circulate and be commented upon, critically or otherwise, that it can be used for research, that it should be an available in certain respects in the public interest(Frith & Marshall 2004).


Copyright law does not protect ideas, but the expression of those ideas (Stokes, 2005:3): to gain legal protection, ideas must be expressed and ‘ fixed’ in a tangible fashion, whether written down or recorded in some other way (Anderton, Dubber & James 2013). Copyright law is not natural laws but ones that have been settled upon after a process of negotiation between artists, music companies, legislators and others (Anderton, Dubber & James 2013).


Copyright is the vehicle that drives the music business, essentially the value of the industry can be demonstrated by its key part in attempts to restrict peer-to -peer file sharing (Carey and Wall 2001) and the dissemination of music via the Internet more generally. Traditionally, then, copyright disputes in British courts have primarily concerned plagiarism, the examination of similarities between different song’s music or lyrics (Frith & Marshall 2004). Copyright laws vary from country to country and change over time and copyright law is also facing the challenges of the Internet technologies.



Anderton, C., Dubber, A. and James, M. (2013). Understanding the music industries. 1st ed. London: Calif. [u.a.].

Frith, S. and Marshall, L. (2004). Music and copyright. 1st ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

Kretschmer, M. (2017). Artists’ earnings and copyright: A review of British and German music industry data in the context of digital technologies (originally published in January 2005). [online] Pear.accc.uic.edu. Available at: http://pear.accc.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1462/1377 [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].


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