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Coleman, Elizabeth Burns, Rosemary J. Coombe, Fiona MacArailt. A Broken Record: Subjecting ‘Music’ to Cultural Rights
2012, In The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation, edited by James O. Young and Conrad G. Brunk: Blackwell Publishing.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes, Contributed by:

Summary: This article presents multiple arguments for the “repatriation” of indigenous music, and the assertion of indigenous cultural rights, while troubling the imposition of legalistic frameworks of Western intellectual property. It situates the harms of appropriation in the perpetuation of unjust systems and misrepresentation, and demonstrates how careful attention to specific cultural practices can play an essential role in sorting out sometimes overly abstract debates about repatriation and appropriation.

Comment: This is a long and difficult text, but it does an excellent job of marrying careful attention to cases with philosophical context and reflection. It is a good choice for more advanced classes, particularly ones that might be focusing on music.

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Irvin, Sherri, , . Appropriation and authorship in contemporary art
2005, British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (2):123-137.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: Appropriation art has often been thought to support the view that authorship in art is an outmoded or misguided notion. Through a thought experiment comparing appropriation art to a unique case of artistic forgery, I examine and reject a number of candidates for the distinction that makes artists the authors of their work while forgers are not. The crucial difference is seen to lie in the fact that artists bear ultimate responsibility for whatever objectives they choose to pursue through their work, whereas the forger’s central objectives are determined by the nature of the activity of forgery. Appropriation artists, by revealing that no aspect of the objectives an artist pursues are in fact built in to the concept of art, demonstrate artists’ responsibility for all aspects of their objectives and, hence, of their products. This responsibility is constitutive of authorship and accounts for the interpretability of artworks. Far from undermining the concept of authorship in art, then, the appropriation artists in fact reaffirm and strengthen it.

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