Music copyright in the digital age: creators, commerce and copyright - an empirical study of the UK music copyright industries

Barr, Kenneth W. (2016) Music copyright in the digital age: creators, commerce and copyright - an empirical study of the UK music copyright industries. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Copyright markets, it is said, are ‘winner takes all’ markets favouring the interests of corporate investors over the interests of primary creators. However, little is known about popular music creators’ ‘lived experience’ of copyright. This thesis interrogates key aspects of copyright transactions between creators and investors operating in the UK music industries using analysis of various copyright related documents and semi-structured interviews with creators and investors. The research found considerable variety in the types of ‘deal’ creators enter into and considerable divergence in the potential rewards. It was observed that new-entrant creators have little comprehension of the basic tenets of copyright, but with experience they become more ‘copyright aware’. Documentary and interview evidence reveals creators routinely assign copyright to third party investors for the full term of copyright in sound recordings: the justification for this is questionable. An almost inevitable consequence of this asymmetry of understanding of copyright and asymmetry of bargaining power is that creators become alienated from their copyright works. The empirical evidence presented here supports historic and contemporary calls for a statutory mechanism limiting the maximum copyright assignment period to ten-years.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Copyright, music industries, digital age, contracts.
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Supervisor's Name: Cloonan, Professor Martin
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Mr Kenneth Barr
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7752
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2016 13:57
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2016 08:36

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