Week 6 – Blog 6: Music Policy

In the world of music, there are numerous different forms of policy. The common understanding of a policy is a plan of action adopted by an individual, institution or social group to guide decisions and actions in order to achieve rational outcomes. The internal corporate policy is something that exists in the corporate music companies such as Sony, Universal and Kobalt. This policy will affect the company internally such as its staff. However, outside the realms of corporate companies, there are also public policies that politicians have to work with that affect the daily operations of music consumption and how music from other countries are available to us and the rest of the public. Harriet Harman (2012) says, politicians, must take music seriously – there is a democratic imperative for us to represent what our constituents feel so passionately about – not just for fun, but for their own ambitions for their future. (Harman, H. 2012)

In 2015, UK Music also reconstituted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music. This group brings together Parliamentarians from across the political divide to work with industry on matters affecting the sector. (Dipple, J. 2015). There has been a renewed interest in the issues affecting creative sectors like music and a willingness from politicians to assist in the industry to help develop it further. In 1993, Frith explained that British state policy on music is still a local phenomenon and that the national culture of popular music has not changed. (Frith, S. 1993) Seeing as the world of popular music and the policies involved have developed so much over the recent year, I’d argue that the British state policy on music is no longer a ‘local’ phenomenon.

Luke McDonagh (2012) argues that the government’s copyright policy causes both frustration excitement in the music industry. He claims that they aren’t enforcing the Digital Economy Act (DEA), which introduced severe penalties for those illegally downloading copyrighted music online, because of the potential political backlash from a large number of illegal downloaders in the UK. Although I believe downloading copyrighted music illegally should be stopped, there are plenty of musicians and artists out there that are happy that people are even downloading the music to listen to regardless of how it was obtained. However, the music industry is a business at the end of the day and it needs to generate revenue else no one would be able to make a living as a musician. There are artists out there such as Tinie Tempah and Professor Green that urged the current government in 2012 to implement the DEA in full, which resulted in several letters being released to suspected illegal downloaders with the threat of potentially disconnecting their internet connections back in 2014. However, the government carried out that process with a serge of reluctance as they are hyper-aware of the sheer number of people in Britain that download copyright music illegally. (McDonagh, L. 2012)


Dipple, J. (2015). 2015 – A year of political change for the music industry. Available: http://www.ukmusic.org/blog/2015-a-year-of-political-change-for-the-music-industry. Last accessed 30/03/17.

Frith, S (1993). Rock and Popular Music. London: Routledge. pp.16-18.

Harman, H. (2012). Harriet Harman speech on UK music industry in full. Available: http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2012/02/20/the-uk-music-industry-building-on-a-global-success-story. Last accessed 30/03/17.

McDonagh, L. (2012). The government’s copyright policy causes both frustration and excitement in the music industry. Available: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/the-governments-copyright-policy-causes-both-frustration-and-excitement-in-the-music-industry/. Last accessed 30/03/17.




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