MP3s crossing a Europe without borders

When I was in Germany several years ago, I attempted to play a music video on YouTube that I had first seen in the United Kingdom. It was blocked on copyright grounds. I wondered, if the European Union guarantees the free movement of goods and services between Member States (which the UK and Germany both are), how could Germany block access to music I could freely access back home in London?

This question inspired my Masters Thesis, which explored European copyright law in the context of digital music services. I even got to interview the head of licencing at Spotify as part of my research!

Abstract: The Single Market of the European Union guarantees the free movement of goods, persons, capital and services. However, intellectual property rights are not standardised across Europe, and access to MP3s and music videos varies from one Member State to the next. European supranational institutions have an incentive to foster the growth of the digitialised creative economy, just as the music industry hopes to expand its consumer base and revenue. Therefore, a more Europeanised approach to collective rights management is seen by many as essential, but to what extent? This dissertation explores why neither the music industry nor the Commission are satisfied by the current copyright regime, and how dynamics between the two influence business operations of digital services.

Key Words: European Union, Intellectual Property, Copyright, Collecting Societies, Music industry, Europeanisation, Regulation of the Single Market, Lobbying, European Competition Law, Resource Dependency Theory, Directive 2001/29/EC regarding the harmonisation of copyright in the Information Society (InfoSoc).

You can read the paper in full here:
Masters Thesis – EU Copyright Law – protected.PDF
(9957 words, 37 pages double spaced inclusive of works cited)

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© Kelsey Farish, written Summer 2012