2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Can We Own a Vibe? A Philosophical Inquiry into Our Understanding of Music Copyright.

This project aims to look at the concept of private property within the context of copyright. I will investigate current copyright law in the case of music and examples of copyright infringement. Through these cases, I will question the grounds on which they have been ruled guilty of copyright infringement. With Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ (2013) being ruled as infringing the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got to Give It Up’ (1977) due to copying the vibe of this song. With the idea of a vibe having not been previously protected by copyright, this challenges our previous understanding of the copyright of music and what it means to own musical property.

I will also discuss the implications copyright has upon the possibility of creativity within the music industry. Copyright law is in place to protect the original creative works of an individual and therefore protecting creativity as a whole. Through questioning whether copyright helps of hinders creativity in music, I will discuss whether copyright does protect creativity as it sets out to do so.

My project aims to question how appropriate the concepts grounding our copyright of music are and call into question whether we need to revise our music copyright system.