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You Can But You May Not
Public Humanist (2009)
  • Joanne M. Riley
“You-can-but-you-may-not” is a familiar frustration for a lot of us these days, now that digital advances have made it possible to do eye-popping things that are creative, intellectually riveting, progressive, revolutionary, educational – but not not quite permitted by the powers-that-be. This is not new to the digital era, of course. In the early days of mass music consumption in the U.S., the recording and radio industries were locked in combat, each fearing that the other would sap its profits. “The national radio networks did not play ‘canned music’ on air, and record companies printed ‘Not Licensed for Radio Broadcast’ on the labels of their records. Record companies also prevented their artists, whom they had under contractual relationship, to perform on radio broadcasts.” (Geels, Analysing the breakthrough of rock ‘n’ roll (1930-1970)). So, it pretty much boiled down to the question “How about we broadcast recordings to millions over the radio?” answered by an emphatic “Sure you can, but you may not.”
  • information technology,
  • internet,
  • copyright,
  • fair use
Publication Date
February 10, 2009
Citation Information
Joanne M. Riley. "You Can But You May Not" Public Humanist (2009)
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