Special Approach for Musical Works in Relation to the Idea-Expression Dichotomy in Copyright Law

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: This thesis discusses a rather contentious issue of how copyright law possesses musical works nowadays. It is essentially argued in the thesis that current copyright law appears to be too restrictive, leaving not enough space for creativity in the musical world. In this regard, the issue related to musical works are mainly analysed through the prism of the idea-expression dichotomy. One of the general points behind the thesis is that the idea-expression dichotomy can appear to be a helpful guiding principle in resolving uncertainties and drawbacks in copyright law in relation to musical works, especially in infringement cases when a musical work is at stake. Apart from describing the idea-expression dichotomy as a general principle of copyright law, this thesis provides an assessment of musical works as they exist nowadays, as well as explains the nature of these expressions, and why such nature is important for copyright law and its interpretation of the idea-expression dichotomy in particular. It is one of the central arguments, that if the idea-expression dichotomy law took into account the nature of musical expressions and emphasised the creative process, copyright law would have a better accord with the realities of music. In this respect, the research provides with an alternative approach to the idea-expression dichotomy in relation to musical works, and tries to explain how it is possible to achieve, and why such changes are needed. Along the thesis explanations and justifications for the alternative approach to the dichotomy are provided from philosophical, moral, musical and human rights perspectives. The findings and conclusions of the work result in theoretical explications behind the idea-expression dichotomy, rather than direct suggestions for legislators or courts. While the main aim of this research is to specify the problem in relation to musical works in copyright law, and to show how idea-expression dichotomy can regulate it.

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