Thursday 6 October 2011

A conference -- and a book

"It's all good fun", said Maud, "but what the Glastonbury
Festival really needs is something a bit more, well, muddy"
This year's "Music and Intellectual Property" Conference, organised by CLT, takes place in Central London on Monday 5 December 2011. The programme is a bright and challenging one, with two 1709 Blog team members taking part in it. Ben Challis (Glastonbury Festival) is taking a look at business models in the music industry, giving some pointers as to what we should look for when deciding which are the winners, which the duds, while Jeremy Phillips is in the chair.

Topics covered this year are as follows:
  • Music copyright and policy: Too Much, Too Quickly?
  • What’s New, What’s on the Way: A European Perspective
  • Infringement - Has the Same Old Tune Changed?
  • Business Models and the Music Industry: Successes and Failures
  • Online Piracy and The Digital Economy Act 2010 - Where Are We Now?
  • Collective Copyright Management in Court
  • Music and Copyright in the Patents County Court
For more details and registration, just click here.

This is the second year that CLT has offered Music and Copyright. Last year's conference was a great success and, coincidentally, one of its star speakers -- the University of Glasgow's Dr Andreas Rahmatian -- has just published a very thought-provoking and stimulating critique of proprietary interests in the creative sector: it's Copyright and Creativity: the making of property rights in creative works, published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

What is this book about? According to the publicity material:
"Copyright and Creativity discusses the making of property out of creative works through the legal mechanism of copyright. It shows the manner in which the law translates a great variety of expressions of the human mind into its normative system and transforms them into the property right of copyright or droit d’auteur.

This timely book examines the proprietary features of copyright, the inherent limitations of its powers, and its justification and relationship to the non-proprietary realm of the public domain. The latter part of the book deals with the ‘propertisation/commodification’ of human authors themselves through their works as alienable objects of property, the well-known ‘Romantic author’ critique as a sophisticated justification of that commodification, and at an international level, neo-feudal and neo-colonial developments as a result of this process.

This detailed study will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, legal sociologists, and specialists in copyright, property theory, or legal theory and political philosophy with particular interest in property theory. Practitioners within bodies involved in legal policy, organisations concerned with law reform, European institutions, and international organisations will also find much to interest them in this book".
This blogger read one of the chapters pre-publication and can confirm that it is a work of substantial scholarship which will be much appreciated by anyone who has a good understanding of legal systems, jurisprudential notions of property and the principles of copyright.  It makes no concessions to lazy reading, sloppy thinking or common law sentiments. There's also an excellent 22-page bibliography which reflects not only the author's linguistic skills but the considerable breadth of his inquisitive instincts when chasing strands of thought. For a relatively small book, it's a big, big read.

Bibliographical details: Hardback,  xx + 314 pages. ISBN  978 1 84844 246 7. Price £79.95 (online price £71.96). 35% discount for 1709 Blog readers who purchase it by 31 October .£51.96 + carriage charges. Web page here.

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