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It's a Legal Matter, Baby: Fair Use Law and the Rock ‘n' Roll Scholar

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In order to reveal the discrepancy between the rock scholar's desire to quote copyrighted lyrics and the limited use allowed by holders of these copyrights, this essay explores the traditional understanding of the “fair use” doctrine in the context of a post‐Napster, corporate‐friendly legal world. In three parts—The Law, The Book, and The Lesson—Hamelman analyzes recent legal developments in copyright, discusses their impact on his 2004 book on rock 'n' roll music, and then provides guidelines for aspiring authors in this field. The essay argues that scholars must not assume that lyrics can be quoted with impunity, and that to avoid repercussions they should prepare themselves for an arduous permissions process.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2005


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