Providing a practical overview of music rights and licensing, Music & Copyright in America explores the music industry through a legal lens. This timely and absorbing book provides invaluable perspective, context, and clarity amidst the chaos and challenges of today's music business while offering insights into how the business may evolve. Author Kevin Parks accomplishes this by exploring the history of the music business in the United States, with a focus on earlier watershed moments in which technology threatened existing industry practices yet created larger opportunities over the longer term. Parks explains the fundamentals of music copyright for both songs and recordings and describes how these intellectual property assets are translated into the different licensing schemes that form the engine and lifeblood of the music business.
Praise for Music & Copyright in America and Author Kevin Parks:
"It is a very, very difficult task to take a reader through the entire history of copyright and the music industries in readable prose, but you have succeeded marvelously. Congratulations on having made a great contribution to the field. I will certainly be telling everyone I know who has an interest in the area that it is a must-read."
Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Program, The George Washington University Law School
"Magisterial in conception, deeply researched, and beautifully written, Music & Copyright in America is the first book to fully examine the history of music copyright from its origins in the early nineteenth century to the present. Attorney, educator and entrepreneur Kevin Parks highlights the intimate relationship between new technologies and the evolution of music copyright, brilliantly revealing the degree to which historical debates and struggles over copyright continue to shape the industry today. Importantly, the book is a cultural as well as legal history. In tracing the lines of intersection between art, law, and business, Parks also sheds light on how Americans have created and listened to music, and what it has meant to them over time.
Parks is simply dazzling at clearly explaining the immensely complicated nature and evolution of music copyright, structuring a compelling narrative around judicial, legislative and cultural developments, dramatizing the watershed moments when "technology disrupted the industry, only to create long-term opportunities for growth." Parks also brings to life the people who are central to these processes, from working songwriters and musicians to the legislators, attorneys and businesspeople who, together, transform art into commerce. The result is a book showing how individuals have created and shaped an industry -- required reading for lawyers and law students, entrepreneurs and scholars, and indeed anyone interested in the ways in which business, law, and culture intersect."
Chair, History of American Civilization and Professor of English, Harvard University
"Composed of seven major sections, Parks chronicles the birth of the American music industry, the development of sound recording technology, the development of radio and growth of the public performance right, struggles against record piracy, the challenges brought by the internet, and finally today's changes involving convergence and the shift toward the cloud.... The narrative is breezy and engaging. In just over 200 pages, Parks hits on all the major events of musical copyright in the US over the past 200 years while fleshing out the tale with interesting biographical sketches and historical tidbits. These latter details elevate the book from what could be a perfunctory treatment of an admittedly dry subject into a story equally at home on your bedroom nightstand as it is on a reference desk. And, once read, the book remains a tremendous source of citations to legal documents and secondary sources for delving deeper into the events and topics it addresses. ...[Music & Copyright in America] remains a fascinating look at the development of the American music industry over the past two centuries and a tremendous resource for legal practitioners and scholars."
Terry Hart, Copyhype blog (www.Copyhype.com), October 22, 2012