Music Industry and Digital Communications: Analysis

Pages: 9 (2226 words) Published: February 27, 2015
Music Industry Digital Communications
Peter McLelland – 1001849
In this essay, I intend to discuss several points regarding the state of the Music Industry and Digital Communications (MIDC). I will begin by explaining how Copyright is affected by technological developments, then I will go on to compare Digital and Physical Marketing and Distribution with a SWOT analysis to show my findings. I will then continue to describe how Corporations, Artists and Consumers have responded to changes in the digital music market, and I will conclude this essay by analysing Digital Music Legislation and its effectiveness for music businesses.

1 - How Copyright has been affected by Technological Developments
Copyright is, in itself, a property right. This means that there is no need to register for copyright, as it arises automatically when, for example, a musician writes a song. For the artist's work to be protected by copyright, they must have material evidence of their work (as ideas can not be copyrighted).

The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) gives authors certain economic and moral rights with their works. The CDPA dictates that, for musical works, copyright remains in place 70 years after the original copyright holders death. Copyright lasts for different lengths of time when applied to different areas, for example, when copyright is applied to Typographical arrangements, the copyright only lasts for 25 years after being published. Also, when copyright is applied to protecting Sound Recordings, the copyright lasts for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was created. The Economic rights of the copyright holder give them the ability to copy their work, and distribute copies of their work, rent or loan their work for public performance. The Moral rights enable the copyright holder to be identified as the primary author of their own work. This helps to protect the author's reputation as well as the integrity of their work.

Copyright Infringement is a very serious offence within the music industry. Copyright Infringement is when an individual essentially steals another individuals copyrighted work. However, in some cases, this infringement is entirely subconscious. Copyright Infringement can be a very serious matter, and can even be taken to court, like this example between Michael Bolton and The Isley Brothers:

The Isley Brothers isn't as well known a name as Michael Bolton, but unfortunately for Mr. Bolton, they share a song with the same name and some of the same lyrics. The Isley Brother's song was released in 1966 under the name “Love is a Wonderful Thing”, while Michael Bolton's song was released in 1991.

A suit was brought against Michael Bolton by the Isley Brothers for allegedly lifting parts from their original song of the same name and in 1991, despite Michael Bolton and the co-author of the song's argument that there was insufficient evidence supporting the jury's findings, the district court found I favour of the Isley Brothers and left the largest award in history for plagiarism in the music industry intact. The Isley Brothers were awarded 5.4 million dollars, the calculation based on 66% of past and future royalties. (also taken into account was 28% of the past and future royalties of the album “Time, Love and Tenderness” as 'Love is a Wonderful Thing' is contained within that album). Information taken from circumnavigationally/most-famous-music-copyright-infringement.html

Now that I have established what Copyright is, I will now explain how Technological Developments are affecting music copyright.
Technological Developments have affected music copyright in a number of ways. For example, Peer to Peer (P2P) networks are an easy way to share and steal music. YouTube has also heavily affected music copyright as people are capable of listening to full albums without paying a single penny, which results in less royalties for the artists. There are individuals around the...
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