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The Development AgendaGlobal Intellectual Property and Developing Countries$
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Neil Weinstock Netanel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342109

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342109.001.0001

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Arab Musiconomics, Culture, Copyright, and the Commons

Arab Musiconomics, Culture, Copyright, and the Commons

(p.341) 15 Arab Musiconomics, Culture, Copyright, and the Commons
The Development Agenda

Nagla Rizk

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Arab music industry in the light of the region's socio-cultural, economic, political, legal, and institutional realities. It sheds light on the current practices and value chains, with the objective of examining the role that copyright plays—or does not play—in this context. The focus is on two major groups: the pop stars and the underground musicians. The main hypothesis is that there actually prevails an informal, and sometimes illegal, commons in a system where significant monetary appropriation comes mostly from live performances, mainly weddings and public parties. Within the framework of economic, cultural, and institutional realities in the region, copyrighted items end up being used as reputation promoters. Based on the analysis presented, the chapter argues for acknowledging and formalizing the Arab commons. It also recommends finding new, alternative, and suitable business models as well as flexible intellectual property regimes that would promote access and contribution to Arabic musical content.

Keywords:   music, Arab, Egypt, pop stars, record labels, IP, Internet

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