Monday, August 5, 2013

Current Issues: Week 5 - Product Development & Private-Public Partnerships (PPP)

This is not legal advice. Leave audio feedback at (512) 686-6329.

Last semester I took a course called Current Issues in International IP. I thought perhaps I'd clean up some of these posts over the course of the summer, but with the summer drawing to a close, I figured I'd either delete the titles or release what I had written as is. This is one of those as-is posts. I hope you can gain something from it.

Technically, this week we are primarily talking about patents in the Current Issues course. Specifically, we read "A Typology of Intellectual Property Management for Public Health Innovation and Access: Design Considerations for Policymakers" by Antony Taubman. I think the private-public partnerships are worth exploring in music as well, and indeed the paper passingly mentions copyright a few times.

Probably the most obvious Private-Public Partnership (PPP) in music is that of music education. People will quibble whether in the US we really have much "public" in music education, at least from a financial point of view. Let me first say, that despite my parents both being music educators (one public, one private), I think math and science education is vastly more important than arts education (that said, studies have shown music improves math skills). Humans innately express themselves. Humans do not innately understand differential equations or the Heisenberg principle. Of course, this week is not about education policy, we already had that discussion and will again when I post my mid-term paper on the subject.

There are, of course, other PPPs in music and some of them are subtle. For example, many arts organizations are 501(c)(3)s and while this is not direct financial stimulus, the tax incentives certainly help promote the arts. Charitable organizations are a particularly interesting application of the "market economy." While the market apparently prefers Justin Bieber (who was #1 on Billboard when I started writing this post), the government allows a separate (not secondary) market for charitable arts organizations.

Of course, the government also "competes" in this market with the various military bands, but charities, such as the Netizen Empowerment Federation, fulfill roles in the US that governments provide in other countries, such as education and arts. I am not an economist and thus I am not going to speak about the market aspects, specifically.

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