Tatum, Spoo and Pope (2009)
|Tatum, Spoo and Pope (2009)|
|Title:||Does Gender Influence Attitudes toward Copyright in the Filk Community?|
|Author(s):||Tatum, M. L., Spoo, R. E., Pope, B.|
|Citation:||Tatum, Melissa L. and Spoo, Robert E. and Pope, Benjamin, Does Gender Influence Attitudes toward Copyright in the Filk Community? (September 2009). American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 18, forthcoming 2010; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 09-21.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||This paper utilizes two databases: one consisting of songs themselves and one consisting of answers to a survey. It then analyzes those databases for relationships between gender and the other elements of the database. The first of these two databases, which contained 895 songs when completed, identified the author’s gender and whether the lyrics and/or the melody for each song used copyrighted material. The second database consists of the responses to a survey questionnaire administered to members of the filk community. The survey was admittedly not administered in a scientifically calculated method. This second database consists of 62 responses, which approximately constitutes somewhere between 5% and 10% of the active filk community.|
|Data Type:||Primary and Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Over the past few decades, the filk community has expanded from a small group of science fiction convention-goers who occupied unused convention rooms during the late night hours to a community large enough to organize several dedicated filk conventions each year, a Hall of Fame, and an annual awards ceremony. While many filk songs are original lyrics set to original music, many more filk songs consist of lyrics written to existing music and/or lyrics based on characters/worlds created by other people. These practices potentially create problems in light of existing intellectual property law. In this paper, we explore those issues and whether a filker's gender influences his or her attitude towards intellectual property law. After setting out a basic explanation of filk and the intellectual property issues, the article details the various statistical results generated from the databases we built (one objective and one subjective) and draws some conclusions about gender and filk.
Main Results of the Study
This Survey explores the intellectual property issues implicated by filk music (“Filk” is the term used to describe the music of the science fiction community, and “filkers” are the members of the filk community and are most commonly found participating in song circles at science fiction conventions) and, through two empirical databases, inquire whether a filker’s gender influences his or her attitude towards intellectual property law. More specifically, it shows that:
- Although men and women initially published songs at roughly the same rate twenty years ago, men quickly began outpacing women in the rate of publication, and indeed, between the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, there was a sharp decline in the number of songs published by women.
- Women in the filk community are more likely than men to create original melodies to accompany their lyrics, while women are only somewhat more likely to borrow from others’ lyrics than are men.
- Female respondents were much more likely to define fair use as not profiting from others’ work, and somewhat more likely to define it as giving credit to the original author and making private as opposed to public use of a protected work
- Male respondents were slightly less likely than female respondents to make use of the lyrics of others, i.e., slightly more likely to create their own original lyrics.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Since this is to date, at least to the authors' knowledge, the first empirical study examining attitudes of those in the filker community to intellectual property law, they consider it premature to draw conclusions leading to policy recommendations; they think it more likely that the best use of their work is as a springboard for further empirical work targeting those areas where they have found gender-related differences.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Songs|
|Period of material under study:||1988-2009|
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2009|