Curating, collecting and archiving: Fan labour and the conflicts of copyright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

In this presentation, music fans are characterised as cultural intermediaries who have important roles to play within popular music culture. They are active not only in curating, collecting and archiving the material culture produced and circulated by the music industries, but also in creating, organising, discussing and circulating their own materials/information. The development of online networks of communication, storage and distribution has allowed more fans to engage in these practices, but has also led to conflicts regarding copyright and ownership, and to the apparent co-opting of fan networks, products and free labour for the commercial gain of the music industries. This talk will discuss two forms of fan-led cultural production. Firstly, there is the not-for-profit trading of live concert recordings, including remaster projects and pseudo- record labels created by fans and fan networks. These curate, collect and distribute recordings of live performances that would not otherwise be available through ?traditional? commercial record company sources, and so build alternative canons and histories for artists. Secondly, there are blogging sites that curate rare, private press and OOP (out of print) recordings that are otherwise impossible to find from legitimate streaming and download sites, or from primary retail sources (though some may appear as ?second-hand? copies in online marketplaces such as Musicstack, Eil, eBay, Gemm and so on). The blogging sites to be discussed not only discuss the music, but offer cyberlocker download links in order to facilitate free distribution of the recordings they present. In both types of cultural production, fans are providing forms of free labour (material, immaterial and affective), whilst also highlighting, negotiating or sidestepping a variety of issues related to ownership and copyright that will detailed and discussed in the talk.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopular Music Fandom Conference, 10 April 2015, University of Chester.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

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