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Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Jurisprudence

Computer Law

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Whose Music Is It Anyway?: How We Came To View Musical Expression As A Form Of Property -- Part I, Michael W. Carroll Sep 2003

Whose Music Is It Anyway?: How We Came To View Musical Expression As A Form Of Property -- Part I, Michael W. Carroll

Working Paper Series

Many participants in the music industry consider unauthorized downloading of music files over the Internet to be “theft” of their “property.” Many Internet users who exchange music files reject that characterization. Prompted by this dispute, this Article explores how those who create and distribute music first came to look upon music as their property and when in Western history the law first supported this view. By analyzing the economic and legal structures governing musicmaking in Western Europe from the classical period in Greece through the Renaissance, the Article shows that the law first granted some exclusive rights in the Middle ...