Illegal remixes: Law-breaking or creative license? 

Published: 11 January 2023

In the electronic dance music (EDM) community, what is viewed as intellectual property theft isn’t always up to the law—it’s up to the community. Norms around unlawful activities, such as illegal remixing, are often ambiguous and situation-specific. Ironically, illegal remixes can garner support, even career-launching acclaim. “What you consider deviant in one community may not be viewed as such in another community; it is in the eye of the beholder,” says McGill University professor of Organizational Behaviour at the Desautels Faculty of Management Amandine Ody-Brasier. Her recent working paper, “Deviance as a Means to Build a Legitimate Career: Evidence from the EDM Industry,” looks at how norms— expectations shared by community members about what behaviours are appropriate, though they may not necessarily be legal—affect careers and other economic outcomes in creative occupations.   

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