I am currently in the process of writing my master’s thesis for my intellectual property LL.M. program. I have decided to research the ways in which copyright law affects (or doesn’t affect, be that the case) the creative process. While I am interested in learning about the ways in which the law interacts with all art forms, the focus of my thesis will be songwriting. Music presents unique copyright law considerations. Music is pervasive in our lives, copyright disputes among popular performers receive increased media attention, and in this digital age music can be reproduced and distributed with little effort.
I am hoping that my research will reveal ways in which songwriters learn about copyright law, and whether their understanding of the law affects the music that they create. I am also hoping to find out if there are any persistent misconceptions about the law that may affect the creative process.
While reading law review articles and case law may be sufficient research for some topics, I believe this topic would benefit from anecdotal evidence. I am still searching for more songwriters and entertainment/intellectual property attorneys to interview for this project. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact me! Even if you don’t fit in one of these categories, but have questions or comments about this topic, still feel free to contact me – I believe my thesis can only benefit by addressing a wide range of perspectives and opinions.