The Ex-Ante Anthropological Approach to Chinese Music Piracy: Hip-Hop Culture Writes Its Own Story
Thomas P. Winkler
November 17, 2010
Journal of Eurasian Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010
While the Internet has presented unprecedented potential for the profitability of recorded music, it has also created many challenges for a reactive copyright system. Opportunistic entrepreneurs have developed lucrative distribution models that circumvent copyright protection. Moreover, these e-commerce models, which embrace the Confucian ideal of sharing, have normalized a culture of music piracy in China. This normalization has catalyzed a culturally inspired copyright dispute between the United States and China.
This article explores the history of Chinese copyright law as it has been shaped by Confucian political culture, and discusses the socioeconomic factors hindering the effective enforcement of China’s modern copyright regime. Additionally, it reveals that the ex-post legal strategy utilized to combat music piracy in China has compounded the enforcement issues due to its insensitivity to such cultural norms.
Ultimately, in reconsidering the efficacy of the recording industry’s ex-post legal strategy, the article proposes an ex-ante anthropological approach that embraces and interacts with Chinese culture. Furthermore, it advances a grassroots educational program called Thru the Music that attempts to promote copyright consciousness through Chinese hip-hop culture. By tailoring this educational campaign to suit the current creating and consuming culture of Chinese hip-hop, it allows the music to speak for itself, redefining the norms of Chinese music consumption.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: copyright law, music, piracy, copyright infringement, China, culture, Confucian, trade, Hip-Hop, intellectual property, recording industry
JEL Classification: O34, A13, K33, L82, N15, N45, N70, N75, O33, O38, O51, O53, P11, P12, P16, P26, P51, Z10
Date posted: November 17, 2010