This article addresses the problems that courts face when dealing with copyright infringement of musical compositions. Infringement of music presents special problems for judges and juries because music is an intuitive art that is nonverbal and nonvisual. Consequently, traditional methods of establishing infringement are often unreliable when applied to music.
This paper will concentrate on the question of whether a composition that is similar to, but not the same as, another work infringes on the other work. I This inquiry is both qualitative and quantitative. First, one must establish that the first work employs material from the second work. Determining whether copying has occurred is often difficult, and the majority of this paper will deal with this problem. Second, once copying has been established, one must determine whether the quantity copied is sufficient to constitute illegal appropriation.
Part I of this paper examines and criticizes the methods courts have employed to determine copyright infringement of musical compositions. Part II shows how some scholars have dealt with this question. Part III presents this author's solutions to determining infringement of musical works.
This paper will concentrate on infringement of popular music.
Fruehwald, E. Scott
"Copyright Infringement of Musical Compositions: A Systematic Appproach,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 26
, Article 2.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol26/iss1/2