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Out of Control? MP3 and the Popular Music Industry
Worcester, April 2001

Out of control? MP3 and the popular music industry

A one day conference hosted University College Worcester.
Friday 20th April 2001 9.30-4.30

The music format MP3 has been described as ushering in a 'golden age of piracy'
and music sharing device Napster as the 'single most insidious website' on the
internet. Regardless of the hyperbole of such statements, there can be no doubting
the significance of MP3 to the popular music industry, with multi-million dollar
lawsuits as well as agreement between Napster and one major label. Artists,
meanwhile, remain ambivalent to the new format with some seeing it as an
opportunity to gain greater control from their labels, and users seem happy to
disregard the moral implications of 'theft' stressed by the industry.

This one day inter-disciplinary conference will explore the impact of MP3 and
programs such as Napster upon the production and consumption of popular music. In
particular, it will look at the impact upon three interest groups in the area -
labels, musicians and consumers, and question how the relations between them are
changing (or could change) due to these technological developments.


Here is a list of papers due to be presented at the conference. It could, however,
change due to circumstances beyond our control.

Barry Brown, (Hewlett Packard Research Labs),
'Music Sharing as a Computer Supported Collaborative Application'.
Ian Dobie (Salford University), 'Stop that train, I'm leaving'.
Ulrich Dieter Einbrodt (University of Giessen), 
'The juxtaposition of good and bad or legal and illegal downloads. The MP3 format
	and its chance for musicians and fans'.
Martin Kretschmer (Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management,
	University of Bournemouth), 
"Where the Private becomes Public: The commercial logic of file-sharing" - 
	business models - corporate strategies - copyright law.
CP Lee (University of Salford), 
'Hey! Hey! MP3 - how many groups did you kill today?'
Lee Marshall (University College Worcester),
'Metallica and morality'.
Jason Toynbee (Centre for Communication, Culture and Media Studies, University of
'The Napster effect: culture, commodity and gift on the internet'.


Registration for the conference, including buffet lunch, is 30. There are a
limited number of concessionary rates available for unfunded students. The
concessionary rate is 10 and are available on a first come, first served basis.


It is hoped that this conference will feature as the first event of a limited term
working group of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music
(IASPM) - UK and Ireland branch, entitled 'Intellectual Property and Popular Music'.

 If there is sufficient interest, the conference shall
 include an inaugural meeting of the group to determine
 its future plans. Expressions of interest of joining
 this working group are warmly invited. If you cannot
 attend the conference but would like to become part of
 the working group, please send an email.

More details are available at the conference website
Lee Marshall
Department of Sociology
University College Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester WR2 6AJ
+44-1905 855312