Streaming & Screaming: Intellectual Property Rights’ Survival in a 21st Century Music Industry


Kyle Pettine


It’s difficult to understand how in 2018, artists took home only about 11.6% of the total industry revenue; the same industry that could not exist without them. This article explores the current state of the music industry and where it will go. It also aims to shed light on the issues plaguing musicians in the 21st century music industry, and how to help those being taken advantage of. Part I of this paper will explore the history of music distribution, to understand how the industry has changed over the years. This includes the transition from physical to digital medium distribution, and the leading figures throughout the music industry. Part II will look at copyright law’s effect on revenues and innovation from the perspective of different actors in the industry: Record Labels, Streaming Companies, and Producers. It will examine recent industry data to show how much and where the revenue is going, as well as who it is going to. Part III offers possible remedies and suggestions to the thriving, yet unfair and inequitable industry. These include producer-centered actions such as a public rights awareness campaign, lobbying, and more.


copyright; copyright law; entertainment law; intellectual property; music industry; music streaming

Document Type