Since the death of Frank Zappa in 1993, there has been an ongoing legal battle between the Zappa Family Trust and the plethora of tribute bands that have emerged, recording and performing his music. It could be argued that these ensembles not only pay direct homage to Zappa’s legacy by interpreting his music in numerous ways, but also keep his memory alive by interfacing with both his long standing audience, and a younger generation who may not be aware of his music. Despite this, the ZFT position focuses upon copyright protection, as opposed to exploiting an opportunity to publicize Zappa’s legacy. Their recent claim that a ‘tribute performance’ falls into the category of a ‘musical dramatic work’, and therefore ‘Grand’ as opposed to ‘Statutory Right’ remuneration is controversial, and raises a number of important issues regarding the ‘dramatic nature’ of Zappa’s music, and to what extent his portfolio is being appropriated for specific use. These factors represent a unique example of a copyright holder effectively litigating its fan base, and acts as a fascinating case study of the ethical and legal factors of what constitutes a reduction in a performers’ collective bargaining. This paper intends to explore these issues, before contextualizing them through speaking to the tribute musicians themselves.
|Published - 1 Nov 2010
| The IASPM-Norden 2010 Conference on MUSIC, LAW AND BUSINESS - Helsinki
Duration: 1 Nov 2010 → 1 Nov 2010
|The IASPM-Norden 2010 Conference on MUSIC, LAW AND BUSINESS
|1/11/10 → 1/11/10
- frank zappa