Non-Conventional Copyright
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Non-Conventional Copyright

Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection?

Edited by Enrico Bonadio and Nicola Lucchi

This book draws a picture of possible new spaces for copyright. It expands on whether modern copyright law should be more flexible as to whether new or unconventional forms of expression - including graffiti, tattoos, land art, conceptual art and bio art, engineered DNA, sport movements, jokes, magic tricks, dj-sets, 3D printing, works generated by artificial intelligence, perfume making, typefaces, illegal and immoral works - deserve protection. The contributors offer authoritative, coherent and well-argued essays focusing on whether copyright can subsist in these unconventional subject matters.
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Chapter 7: Protecting traditional music under copyright (and choosing not to enforce it)

Luke McDonagh


This chapter examines how music is defined and protected under copyright law with a focus on traditional music, and outlines the reasons why, even if their music is protectable, traditional musicians might decide not to enforce copyright in their works. While there is space for some use of innovative licensing, inspired by FOSS and Creative Commons, it should not be viewed as a panacea; instead, acknowledgement and maintenance of the social norms within traditional music communities are of vital importance, rather than dramatic legal changes. The particular jurisdiction I focus on is the UK, but the underlying principles of the chapter are relevant to copyright elsewhere, for example in the EU, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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