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2 - Toward a History of Digital Music: New Technologies, Business Practices and Intellectual Property Regimes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2019

Nicholas Cook
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Monique M. Ingalls
Affiliation:
Baylor University, Texas
David Trippett
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

The chapter historicises the economics of music in the current age of technological automation – from the invention of intellectual property to the implementation of lock-down technologies at the turn of the twenty-first century. The first section sketches the basic characteristics of music’s technological, legal and political economies. By the late twentieth century, the precarious markets for music – enclosed within large-scale cycles of boom and bust in the nineteenth century – had morphed into a relatively stable set of intersecting industrial networks, including print, radio and phonograph. The second section sketches a transition period for the music industry in the context of distributed digital networks that emerged after the Cold War, producing a disjuncture between practice and policy. The third section traces the dialectics of intellectual property regimes pertaining to digital rights management, arguing that a covert allomorphism of the law effectively disabled both technical and legal functionalities pertaining to music.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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References

Gillespie, Tarlton. 2007. Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meinrath, Sascha D., Losey, James W. and Picard, Victor W.. 2011. ‘Digital Feudalism: Enclosures and Erasures from Digital Rights Management to the Digital Divide’. Advances in Computers 81: 237–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scherer, F. M. 2004. Quarter Notes and Bank Notes: The Economics of Music Composition in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Snickars, Pelle and Vonderau, Patrick, eds. 2009. The YouTube Reader. Stockholm: Mediehistoriskt.Google Scholar
Sterne, Jonathan. 2012. MP3: The Meaning of a Format. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Witt, Stephen. 2015. How Music Got Free: A Story of Obsession and Invention. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar

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