An empirical study of the Music Copyright System in The Netherlands

Authors Nerko Hadziarapovic, Marlies van Steenbergen, Pascal Ravesteijn
Published in Proceedings SERCI Annual Congress
Publication date 10 September 2022
Research groups Digital Ethics, Process Innovation and Information Systems
Type Lecture


Abstract The emergence of new technologies such as mp3 and music streaming, and the accompanying digital transformation of the music industry, have led to the shift and change of the entire music industry’s value chain. While music is increasingly being consumed through digital channels, the number of empirical studies, particularly in the field of music copyright in the digital music industry, is limited. Every year, rightsholders of musical works, valued 2.5 billion dollars, remain unknown. The objectives of this study are twofold: First to understand and describe the structure and process of the Dutch music copyright system including the most relevant actors within the system and their relations. Second to apply evolutionary economics approach and Values Sensitive Design method within the context of music copyright through positive-empirical perspective. For studies of technological change in existing markets, the evolutionary economics literature provides a coherent and evidence-based foundation. The actors are generally perceived as being different, for example with regard to their access to information, their ability to handle information, their capital and knowledge base (asymmetric information). Also their norms, values and roles can differ. Based on an analysis of documents and held expert interviews, we find that the collection and distribution of the music copyright money is still based on obsolete laws, neoclassical paradigm and legacy IT-system. Finally, we conclude that the rightsholders are heterogenous and have asymmetrical information and negotiating power. The outcomes of this study contribute to create a better understanding of impact of digitization of music copyright industry and empower the stakeholders to proceed from a more informed perspective on redesigning and applying the future music copyright system and pre-digital norms and values amongst actors.

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Language English
Published in Proceedings SERCI Annual Congress
Key words Music Copyright System, Digital Transformation, Technological Innovations, Evolutionary Economics