Music and Law: Volume 18


Table of contents

(18 chapters)
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List of contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Purpose – This chapter explores the use of music and celebrity endorsements in political campaigns of the United States. It focuses on two aspects: (1) the legality of a political campaign’s use of music at rallies and in advertisements without authorization from the owner of the musical work and (2) a review of the literature on the potential effect of the use of music in political campaigns on voter behavior.

Design/methodology/approach – A brief history of the use of music in political campaigns precedes an examination of the expansion of copyright law protection for music and the legal claims musicians may raise against the unauthorized use of music by political campaigns. The chapter then reviews the potential effect of political campaigns’ use of music and celebrity endorsements on voter behavior.

Findings – A musician’s primary legal protection falls under copyright law, but the courts disagree on whether the unauthorized use of music at political rallies and in political campaign advertisements results in copyright infringement. Social research suggests music and celebrity endorsements affect voter behavior with a likely greater effect on first-time voters.

Originality/value of chapter – This chapter introduces the complicated application of copyright law to the unauthorized use of musical works by political campaigns. Additionally, it notes the limited research on the effect of music and celebrity endorsements on voter behavior even as political campaigns increasingly target niche demographics with specific music selections to motivate voters to vote.


Purpose – In this chapter, I explore the graduated response approach to combatting online piracy, and examine the different ways in which this approach has been implemented in the United States and around the world.

Design/methodology/approach – I discuss the legal, political, and industrial origins and current state of the graduated response programs in each country.

Findings – Overall, the most successfully launched graduated response programs have been the ones where a single entity is overseeing the program implementation, and the code of conduct has been well articulated.

Originality/value of chapter – Few scholars have examined the processes leading up to the implementation of graduated response programs and the mechanics of how they work in practice. This chapter does this by looking, chronologically, at the developments in each country as well as the choreography of its notice process.


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to relate to the reader how overlapping advancements in technology and the diffusion of popular music into the habitus of listeners have provided the framework for an instrumental rationalization of litigious approaches to copyright protection by their owners. Namely, the personalization of music, which has evolved with the aid of technological advancements, has privatized music consumption, thus establishing socio-legal parameters that limit consumption to an individual action.

Design/methodology/approach – We discuss the concepts of habitus and taste, communality in music ownership, communicative action, and technology-driven consumption as they relate to the instrumental rationalization of industry-led governance structures defining music ownership rights. These arguments are supported in part by a consideration of historic examples of tension and responding legal actions.

Findings – The primary outcome from this chapter is to illustrate the extent to which the recording industry has traditionally held a role in guiding copyright policy. The chapter concludes by illustrating the current legitimation crises encountered by the recording industry and policy makers as consumers abandon traditional ownership paradigms en masse.

Originality/value of chapter – The technologies associated with the Internet and music consumption continue to evolve. This chapter highlights the differing interests in controlling music interests, and casts light on how agency has influenced structural developments central to copyright.


Purpose – This chapter focuses on the creative and artistic consequences triggered by legal and business decisions related to the form, structure, and operation of the band as a creative entity, as distinct from its members. The chapter highlights the choices often made by professional musical groups in popular music and the consequences of those choices.

Design/methodology of approach – The chapter follows the legal consequences of organizational formation and how those choices impact a band’s relationship with its record label, publisher, and audience as well as the relationship dynamics within the organization itself.

Findings – Lack of planning often results in tensions that undermine bands, particularly in those bands that form incrementally over time. Standard record label agreements and publishing agreements tend to heighten the tension among band members, creating competing economic incentives for various band members.

Originality – The implications to organizational dynamics for musical groups are rarely analyzed in terms of the band's legal and economic structure either as an academic review or as a professional planning methodology. This analysis and the approach provided herein should provide musicians and their counsel an effective method for planning and anticipating the inevitable tensions that will arise in the various stages of the band’s development.


Purpose – The aim of this chapter is to theorize and describe the main characteristics of the social construction of the policy of electro-amplified popular music (EAPM) in the French context.

Design/methodology/approach – To explain the significance and the institutionalization of EAPM through the conflict and mediation between two modes of legitimation of the rebellion and recognition of identity: deliberative rationality and verbalization of protest, on the one hand, and “musicalization” of revolt and globalization of the rebellious feeling attitude, on the other hand.

Findings – The meaning of the so-called “musicalization of revolt” is defined. This phenomenon emerged, in France, at the end of 1960s, after a long and traditional period of “politization” and rationalization of protest. The main sociological and economic dimensions of this new historical process are designated: a special standardization of the emotional expression and a transcultural and global matrix of rebellion. Then, the public policy of EAPM is examined in depth. The paradox of the French voluntarism (the regulation of EAPM practices) is accentuated. What to do with the liberal origin of these styles and the institutional policy that began in 1982? Why and for what reasons has this public policy been still going on? What are the advantages of the public support from musicians’ as well as local and national authorities’ point of view? What are the topics of EAPM public policy (support for social creation, status of drugs, and ritualization of violence)?

Originality/value of chapter – This academic text offers some key concepts explaining the normalization of the emerging and anarchistic musical cultures.


Purpose – I argue that one can articulate a historically attuned and analytically rich model for understanding jazz in its various inflections. That is, on the one hand, such a model permits us to affirm jazz as a historically conditioned, dynamic hybridity. On the other hand, to acknowledge jazz’s open and multiple character in no way negates our ability to identify discernible features of various styles and esthetic traditions. Additionally, my model affirms the sociopolitical, legal (Jim Crow and copyright laws), and economic structures that shaped jazz. Consequently, my articulation of bebop as an inflection of Afro-modernism highlights the sociopolitical, and highly racialized context in which this music was created. Without a recognition of the sociopolitical import of bebop, one’s understanding of the music is impoverished, as one fails to grasp the strategic uses to which the music and discourses about the music were put.

Design methodology/approach – I engage in an interdisciplinary study of jazz via analyses and commentary on selected texts from several scholarly disciplines.

Findings – To acknowledge the hybridity and social construction of jazz esthetics in no way nullifies the innovations and leadership of African American jazz musicians whose artistic contributions not only significantly shaped modern jazz in the mid-twentieth century but also whose musical voices continue to sound and set esthetical standards in contemporary expressions of jazz (and beyond).

Originality and value – My chapter is highly interdisciplinary, bringing philosophical explanations of race, discourse, and the ontology of music into conversation with numerous sociological and (ethno)musicological insights about jazz.


Purpose – The main purpose of this chapter is to discuss cultural norms in the process of handing down traditional folk music. In doing so, I focus on learning what successors of the tradition think about the orthodoxy of their music and what they think is the ideal way to pass down cultural heritage. In addition, considering that cultural norms are socially constructed in the moment, it should be also examined what leads people to have such notions.

Design/methodology/approach – To achieve these purposes, I look at practices of handing down traditional folk music in Japan, developing five case studies of various ohayashi. I also analyze yosakoi, which is modernly arranged local folk music that is widely spread across the country in the form of community festivals.

Findings – The successors of traditions tend to consider tracing the roots of their music as an obligation. On the other hand, in the case of music with no exact origin, its successors seek to find their identities by learning lessons from local anonymous ancestors. Meanwhile, there are people who consider its economic value as a raison d’être for traditional music.

Originality/value – What gives originality to this chapter is that I adopt an approach, employing regional and urban sociology methods, of comparing the characteristics of the regions in which local folk music is based. Along with perspectives on macro social changes and the principle of music group formation, I also discuss the transformation of expertise in folk culture associated with the rise of institutional reflexivity.


Purpose – This chapter observes the dynamics between various aspects of current pop music production, particularly in respect to digital culture, and the preservation and access challenges faced by a wealth of analogue sound artefacts. I argue for the need to consider the activity of ‘fringe piracy’ – that is online music distribution that specialises in out-of-print analogue editions and bootleg trading – as worthy of civic merit: as participatory heritage recovery, preservation and dissemination.

Methodology – I narrate and interpret a series of contexts pertaining to deep changes in popular music production and consumption in the last decade. I will do so primarily by focusing on online activity, while unravelling its relationships with traditional modes of music production, dissemination and consumption (i.e. the music industry as defined by vinyl records, cassettes and CDs throughout the second half of the Twentieth Century). I further contrast the mechanics of ‘grey areas’ of online music access against mainstream web platforms such as iTunes. The author has performed extensive participant observation throughout various online platforms in the last decade, particularly the ones mentioned along the chapter. Additional content has been developed as a consequence of both online and offline discussions, as well as conference panels and symposia (Codebits, 2010; South By South West, 2011; Syracuse University London, 2011).

Findings – I argue that the current, wide field of possibilities for music production and dissemination stands in radical contrast with an ongoing and strengthened orthodoxy on the part of media labels and distributors. I further argue that, in contrast with this orthodoxy that stems from consumer culture, an exponential availability of recording and editing tools is encouraging a discreet civic mission of digital transcription, and subsequent historical preservation, of analogue artefacts that would otherwise face the prospect of fading into obscurity and possible definitive loss. This, however, seems to be occurring in gradual oblivion of contextual placement, but rather in line with a culture of interchangeable sampling of a purely sensorial and/or affective nature.

Originality – Most debates on the subject of music piracy tend to focus on a polarisation of the underlying issues, while mainly addressing its legal and political aspects. There is a need to unravel the cultural, aesthetic and civic parameters that emerge from a phenomenon that is, ultimately, anything but polarised: instead, one finds it is paved with complexity and ambivalence.

Prison and pop

Pages 179-195
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Purpose – This chapter examines how prison spaces are depicted in fictional contexts built around icons of popular music. Given that both icons and inmates occupy spaces that the majority of the population does not observe or experience, I am interested in the degree to which prisons serve as stagings for queer expression, even when inhabited by mainstream music stars.

Design/methodology/approach – The lyrical content and visual texts of Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us,” Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” as well as material from mainstream musicals like Chicago, are closely analyzed and linked to other scholarly work on prison narratives.

Findings – In addition to binding the power of pop iconicity to the experience of incarceration, the musical numbers and cultural artifacts examined here also reveal differing manifestations of queer motifs in their visual and lyrical construction. Mainstream representations of prisons’ unique and liminal social orders are therefore considered to be open to queer renderings of affection and provocation.

Originality/value – Although prison sexuality is intensely studied by human rights organizations and criminologists, the possibilities for queer expression within fictional prison contexts have not been explicitly linked to the pop personas of music superstars and their creative projects.

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Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to develop a framework for understanding deviant genres of music. Although it seems destructive, deviant music has positive effects, and can encourage greater socialization into the larger society.

Design/methodology/approach – By looking at deviant music of the past, it is possible to see more clearly why such music was created, and what functions it has in society. Three main functions were identified: social criticism, spreading the news, and public catharsis of outstanding events.

Findings – These three functions are found in deviant music today. But there are differences. Heavy metal, a counter culture, uses offensive language and images to repel unwanted outsiders and thus avoids commercialization. Grunge, music of a drop out culture, became popular and lost some of its alternative identity. Rap started as a legitimate African American youth art form but was hijacked by the music industry and has expanded beyond a meaningful art world. This has left both artists and listeners vulnerable to a distorted image.

Originality – The real value of deviant music is its historical record of the inner world of subcultures.


Purpose – This chapter discusses the criminalization of sharing music on peer-to-peer (p2p) networks. Taking the Italian situation into consideration, it aims to introduce a socio-legal reflection about the processes of construction of this deviance.

Design methodology/approach – Adopting a constructionist approach, this chapter first explores the ways in which the social problem of music piracy was built in Italy. The choice of the legislator to place this practice within the category of criminal behaviour was analysed and examined. In the second section, the points of view of other participants involved in the practice of file sharing are taken into account.

Findings – Placing file sharing within the jurisdiction of criminal law does not seem to respond to the needs to counter the infringement of a shared social value, but it rather seems to reflect the protagonists’ involvement into the process of legislative decision about piracy conception and idea of the damage caused by this phenomenon, promoted and conveyed by the music business. The way in which piracy is conceived by Italian legislation emerges here in its partial understanding of the effects of this practice. Sharing music on digital networks appears as a highly conflicted crime, whose harmfulness is scarcely perceived by the society. Furthermore, file sharing repression policy seems to give shape to a new victimless crime, whose harmful effects do not seem to actually fall back on artists or consumers.

Originality/value – Sharing music on the net and violating copyright is little studied from the perspective of the sociology of crime. Using this approach, this chapter contributes to a better understanding of the phenomenon.


Purpose – Despite an abundance of literature on the effects of copyright infringement on music consumption, empirical evidence remains ambiguous. The aim of this chapter is to quantify the effect of copyright infringement on recorded music purchases and live music attendance for Spanish frequent music consumers, and to measure its effect on participation for all music consumers.

Design/methodology approach – We rely on survey data for the Spanish population as our main information source and use propensity score matching to estimate the average effect of copyright infringement on music consumption. In order to do so, the methodology aims at estimating the difference between actual outcomes (record purchases or attendance to live concerts) for copyright infringers and the (counterfactual) outcome would they had not been infringers.

Findings – Two findings stand out. First, and with regards to recorded music consumption, we find a net positive effect of copyright infringement on full album purchases although a nonsignificant one for tracks. Second, there is a positive and significant effect on live attendance, which is consistent with an indirect appropriation effect across products. These results are robust when participation is considered, but some interesting differences arise between recorded music purchasers and live concerts attenders.

Originality/value – First, the use of a counterfactual control group provides an additional approach to the assessment of copyright infringement. Second, within the same framework we investigate the effects of copyright infringement on recorded and live music, an approach that sheds some light on the degree of complementarity between both markets.

Publication date
Book series
Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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