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Where is creativity? Locating intellectual property in collaborative songwriting and production processes

Bennett, J (2014) Where is creativity? Locating intellectual property in collaborative songwriting and production processes. In: International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) UK & Ireland Biennial Conference, 12-14 September 2014, Cork, Ireland.

Abstract

Songs lie at the centre of popular music’s Intellectual Property framework. They represent the starting point for the industry’s two most important creative products: the live performance or the recorded audio artefact. In the early 20th century, US and European copyright conventions were established whereby two separate objects could be ‘owned’: the song and the sound recording, the latter being a derivative work of the former. This state of affairs, where ‘song’ and ‘track’ are separate copyrights, remains at the industry’s administrative core, and has led to awareness among creators of the economic benefits of ‘keeping a slice of the publishing’. However, in real-world songwriting and production situations it is not always easy to ascertain who contributed to ‘writing the song’ and who acted as an arranger, performer or producer. Inferring creative contributions from the audio artefact itself is fraught with methodological challenges; from a listener’s point of view, there is no experiential distinction between song and track. Drawing on the theoretical work of Moore, McIntyre and Csikszentmihalyi , together with interviews with professional songwriters and the author’s own experience as a songwriter and expert witness forensic musicologist, this paper argues that the artificial administrative distinction between ‘song’ and ‘track’ is simultaneously a constraint upon creators and a silent driver of creative practice itself.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: music, creativity, songwriting, copyright, collaboration
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
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Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2014 16:48
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 14:06
References: Abrams, H.B., 1992. Originality and Creativity in Copyright Law. Law and Contemporary Problems, pp.3–44. Bennett, J., 2014. Who writes the songs? Creative practice and intellectual property in popular music’s digital production chain. Conference: Creativity, Circulation and Copyright: Sonic and Visual Media in the Digital Age. Cambridge University. Bennett, J., 2012. Constraint, collaboration and creativity in popular songwriting teams. In D. Collins, ed. The Act of Musical Composition: Studies in the Creative Process. Ashgate, pp. 139–169. Bennett, J., 2011. Collaborative songwriting – the ontology of negotiated creativity in popular music studio practice. In Journal of the Art of Record Production #7. Boden, M., 2004. The creative mind : myths and mechanisms 2nd ed., London ;;New York: Routledge. Demers, J., 2006. Steal This Music – how intellectual property law affects musical creativity, Athens :: University of Georgia Press,. Fauconnier, G. & Turner, M., 2003. The way we think: conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexities, New York, N.Y.: BasicBooks. Ferguson, K., 2011. Everything is a Remix Part 3 Transcript. Everything Is A Remix (film). Available at: http://www.everythingisaremix.info/everything-is-a-remix-part-3-transcript/ [Accessed May 27, 2012]. Fromer, J.C., 2010. Psychology of Intellectual Property, A. Nw. UL Rev., 104, p.1441. Koestler, A., 1964. The act of creation, London: Pan Books. Mackinnon, D.W., 1963. THE IDENTIFICATION OF CREATIVITY. Applied Psychology, 12(1), pp.25–46. Moore, A.F., 2012. Song means : analysing and interpreting recorded popular song, Farnham, Surrey; Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Tagg, P., 2013. Music’s Meanings: a modern musicology for non-musicians, Mass Media Music Scholar’s Press. Middleton, R., 1990. Studying popular music, Milton Keynes [England]; Philadelphia: Open University Press.
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/4874
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