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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 1, Number 1 (2000)

Attempting to Use Legal Means for Protecting Music In The Era of Digital Technology Evolution 

Martin Polon

Polon Research International

Scott Fredrickson

Loyola University New Orleans


The digitization of music and the predilection of computer-savvy music consumers to obtain free and easily accessible recordings on the internet is an issue of ever-growing complexity for the recorded music industry. This industry’s very business model depends on the commercial exploitation of sound recording copyrights, and it is all that the Record Industry Association of America and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry can do to increase protection of these copyrights while advances in digital technology make reproduction easier than ever before. Both groups have pushed for the implementation of technological safeguards – such as watermarks, cookies, and software agents – that are inherently problematic with regards to privacy, as they all gather and relay personal information stored on an individual’s computer in some way. Digital media’s prevalence in today’s society has also left copyright law’s principles of ‘first sale’ and ‘fair use’ in need of serious reworking, as much of the language defining these practices fails to address how they should apply to the digital era. Thus, the recorded music industry must toe the line between keeping up with technology and minimally invading the privacy of its consumer base in its effort to comprehensively protect its assets.

Keywords: copyright law, digital music, intellectual property, music industry, online piracy

Polon, Martin, and Scott Fredrickson. “Attempting to Use Legal Means for Protecting Music In The Era of Digital Technology Evolution." Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 1, no. 1 (2020): 41-61. https://doi.org/10.25101/0.3

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