Chapter 10: Revitalising the UK music industries in the aftermath of Covid-19: A feminist critique of music copyright
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It is well accepted that the cancellations of all live music events in 2020, which continued well into 2022, significantly reduced artists’ income from their music. This put pressure on the income streams from the recorded music, streaming, or other revenue streams. The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit continue to disrupt the live music industry. This already bleak reality is further exacerbated for women across the music industries. And Black women earn less still. Working conditions for women in music have deteriorated from 2018 to 2022, with the majority reporting gender-based discrimination and a significant number also reporting sexual harassment. This chapter investigates whether men and women have equally successful and sustainable careers or, conversely, whether women work towards a different set of expectations in the industries (i.e., feminist inquiry). Relying on evidence of significantly different treatment, this chapter argues that copyright law, with its focus on commercial aspects of the creative works, is not gender-neutral. Framed in relational legal feminism and intellectual property social justice theories, complemented by the intersectional collection of empirical narratives of women musicians (22 interviews), this chapter offers a feminist critique of copyright subject matter. This is only the first, yet mandatory, step towards a feminist reconstruction of copyright laws, which will better cater to a more diverse pool of creatives.

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