Musical Work Copyright for the Era of Digital Sound Technology


Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 202, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The Centre for Intellectual Property and Policy (CIPP) welcomes Professor Robert Brauneis, George Washington University Law School for a talk on intellectual property.
Robert Brauneis is a Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Law Program at the George Washington University Law School.

During the academic year 2013-2014, he is serving as the Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence at the United States Copyright Office. He is the co-author of Copyright: A Contemporary Perspective, and the author of numerous articles, on copyright, trademark, and a number of other legal topics. He is a member of the Managing Board of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center and a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA.”


Federal copyright law in the United States, paralleled by copyright law in Canada, has always reflected and reinforced the model of music as a two-stage art of composition and performance. In the last several decades, however, developments in sound technologies and their uses by musicians and listeners have substantially undermined that distinction. Written notation often no longer figures in any stage of producing a musical recording within a digital environment. 

Should copyright law respond by recognized a new category of works of authorship, namely, audio works? This lecture will outline the potential benefits and difficulties of doing so.