A Social Justice Perspective on Intellectual Property Protection for Folk Music

A Social Justice Perspective on Intellectual Property Protection for Folk Music, in Oxford Handbook on Music Law and Policy, Sean O'Connor, editor (Oxford University Press 2021)

Howard Law Research Paper

21 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Steven D. Jamar

Steven D. Jamar

Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice; Howard University School of Law

Lateef Mtima

Howard University School of Law

Date Written: November 10, 2021

Abstract

This chapter explores IP protectability of what may be broadly termed “folk music,” though, that is a term fraught with ambiguity, from an intellectual property social justice (IP-SJ) framework. Our IP-SJ approach helps illuminate how IP law and administration affect opportunities for access, inclusion, and empowerment through IP endeavor, particularly for traditionally marginalized communities. IP social justice balances claims for protection with other interests and values of society relating to the broad dissemination of ideas and expressive works for the benefit of all including trans-cultural transmission of music. Traditional folk music and, more generally, traditional knowledge and expression (TKE) are not generally protectable by intellectual property (IP) law as it is currently structured. We advocate rethinking and reworking IP protection for musical works, including in particular folk music broadly understood to provide economic and other benefits to originators and performers of music on terms that balance all interests.

Keywords: folk music, traditional knowledge and expression, TKE, intellectual property, copyright, trademark, social justice, indigenous

JEL Classification: K00,K11,K19,K29,K33,K39,O3,O35,O39,

Suggested Citation

Jamar, Steven D. and Mtima, Lateef, A Social Justice Perspective on Intellectual Property Protection for Folk Music (November 10, 2021). A Social Justice Perspective on Intellectual Property Protection for Folk Music, in Oxford Handbook on Music Law and Policy, Sean O'Connor, editor (Oxford University Press 2021), Howard Law Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3964952

Steven D. Jamar (Contact Author)

Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

HOME PAGE: http://iipsj.org

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street NW
Washington, DC 20008
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.howard.edu

Lateef Mtima

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

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