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Working paper: Researching song titles, product cycles and copyright in published music

Ruth Towse and Hyojung Sun published the working paper Researching song titles, product cycles and copyright in published music: problems, results and data sources

The purpose of this Working Paper is to pass on our experience of research on song titles and product cycles in UK music publishing which was intended to provide evidence of the impact of copyright in a market. The Working Paper relates to the article Economics of Music Publishing: Copyright and the Market, published in the Journal of Cultural Economics, 2016. The context of the research was a project on copyright and business models in music publishing that was part of the AHRC funded project: Economic Survival in a Long Established Creative Industry: Strategies, Business Models and Copyright in Music Publishing. By collecting data on the product cycles of a sample of long-lasting song titles and trying to establish changes in the product cycle as the copyright regime changed we had hoped to produce empirical evidence on the effect changes in the copyright regime, such as term extension, or to those in copyright management organisations. For a variety of reasons, this proved impossible to do (at least in the UK) and the Working Paper explains what we think were the reasons. It may also serve as a possible warning to others attempting the same thing. The paper also suggests that previous research that did not consider the ambiguities of a song title may be flawed.

>> The paper can be downloaded here.