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All that is not Given is Lost: Irish Traditional Music, Copyright, and Common Property

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: McCann, Anthony
Conference: Annual Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology
Location: Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: October 22
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8204
Sector: Information & Knowledge
New Commons
Region: Europe
Subject(s): nontraditional common pool resources
common pool resources
indigenous institutions
Abstract: "The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, I feel it necessary to clarify the nature of the social relationships that are inextricably bound up with Irish Traditional musical practice. To do this I shall address issues of gift and commodity, ultimately concluding that grass-roots Irish traditional music transmission rests upon a system of nonreciprocal sharing. And secondly, I believe that it is crucial that we clarify the power relations and the dynamic processes that frame those social relationships. To do this I shall use certain aspects of Common Property Theory, still a very young field, with a view to highlighting the actors and signposting directions. As Michael Goldman has written, 'The common--a material and symbolic reality, always changing, never purely local or global, traditional or modern, and always reflecting the vibrant colours of its ecological, political, cultural, scientific and social character--is not at all disappearing into the dustbin of history. To the contrary, we find that the commons are increasingly becoming a site for robust and tangible struggles..."

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