Stealing the Blues: Does Intellectual Property Appropriation Belong in the Debate Over African-American Reparations?
62 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2005 Last revised: 20 Feb 2015
Date Written: December 1, 2004
Black artists and performers created virtually every original American musical genre, but found their work appropriated wholesale in the early American music industry. The combination of copyright and contract law grafted upon a pervasive system of racial stratification facilitated the widespread exploitation of Black artists. As the debate over reparations for African-Americans proceeds, the systematic deprivation of creative artists deserves consideration within the debate. Claims for theft of creative product overcome some, although certainly not all of the traditional obstacles to reparations. For these reasons, IP deprivations arguably belong in the debate over African-American reparations.
Keywords: African American Reparations, intellectual property, black artists
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