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.

2014 Abstracts Stage 2

“Downloading an album illegally is the same as taking an album out of the shop without paying” (Recording Industry Association of America). Is this a fair analogy of illegal file-sharing?

Can we connect first basis principles to a legitimate claim to ownership?
To discuss what it means to ‘own’ a media file by an investigation into the artist’s labour and personality
If ‘file-sharing’ isn’t stealing off the original artist, who is it stealing off?
Do record labels successfully represent the artist’s intentions?

Project Outline
Distinguishing Features of Stealing and Copying
Which claim to property is most effective: Locke’s labour-mixing or Hegel’s embodiment of personality
The only claim to private property that is effective is Nozick’s entitlement to capital

Philosophers & Key Texts Used:
John Locke: Second Treatise of Government (1689)
Natural Right to Property
‘Labour-mixing argument’

Robert Nozick: Anarchy, State & Utopia (1974)
Entitlement Theory

David Hume: A Treatise Concerning Human Nature (1738)
Artificiality of Property

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Philosophy of Right (1820)
Embodiment of Personality

Karl Marx: The German Ideology (1845)
Critique of Capitalist values

2011 Abstracts Stage 2

It’s Better if You Don’t Own Land

Aim: to determine if humanity has a right to own land

When progress is interpreted in respect to potential living standards, it is undeniable that examples such as the developments made in medicine are evidence of humanity’s progress.

BUT: 10% of the world (0.88 billion) live on an income of under $1 a day
20 years leading up to 1997 child poverty doubled worldwide.
Mortality rates: North America (7) VS Africa (88).