Copyright And Global Music Industry Essay

1108 words - 4 pages

Figure 1 presents the current structure or value chain of the music market [11]. This illustration explains simply how music moves a creative artist to its final destination, a consumer. Musicians typically come with a sample of their music to a music publisher or an artist & repertoire (A&R) manager of a record company. If this initial 'gate keeper' find the music promising, negotiations start [12]. A contract is signed with a music publisher. Recording is undertaken and then a copies of the recording are pressed and promoted to both retailers and the media. After recording, a marketing plan is drafted for diverse audiences, not just the ultimate consumer.Only a small proportion of all samples submitted to 'gatekeepers' will result in commercial recordings. This filtering is a characteristic of many other entertainment industries as well [13]. Financial means and industry contacts are used by music publishers and record companies to attract attention to new releases and create demand. Gates (intermediaries at critical 'control points' that select and validate information passing through them) that need to be passed before an audience is reached include the media (radio, television, music press), retail business, and organizations that control schedules and venues for live performances. These are gates to different, though related audiences. How exactly the different audiences of music are related depends on the kind of music involved, as well as on the social and historical developments that have led a particular 'system of provision' of music to emerge [14]. Here, I will focus on the position of music publishers and record companies as part of the music industry, leaving a fuller description and analysis of this industry to others [15].At present, as Table 2 shows, a few record companies dominate national music markets as well as the global marketplace [16]. Legally, national branches tend to be relatively independent of the central organization, however, because national markets are separated from each other to a large degree. Organizationally, however, the national branches follow the directives from the centers quite closely. The present system of copyrights, with its geographical base, is the most important reason for the hybrid local-and-global structure of the music industry. Geographic distinctions between markets for music products are both the basis for, and reinforced by, the system of copyrights, as will be seen.Copyrights give authors [17] or their heirs a right to the fruits of their creative endeavors for as long as they live and for a specified, but not internationally harmonized, time after death. Copyrights are a license to copy a work in exchange for a fee or royalty. Copying music to recordable media such as a LP or a CD is almost ubiquitously protected by copyrights, as is playing it in the media [18]. Without a system of copyrights, the argument goes, individuals would not be encouraged to produce certain unique...

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