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In the aftermath of apartheid, South Africa undertook an ambitious revision of its intellectual property system. In Lion's Share Veit Erlmann traces the role of copyright law in this process and its impact on the South African music industry. Although the South African government tied the reform to its postapartheid agenda of redistributive justice and a turn to a postindustrial knowledge economy, Erlmann shows how the persistence of structural racism and Euro-modernist conceptions of copyright threaten the viability of the reform project. In case studies ranging from antipiracy police raids and the crafting of legislation to protect indigenous expressive practices to the landmark lawsuit against Disney for its appropriation of Solomon Linda's song "Mbube" for its hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from The Lion King, Erlmann follows the intricacies of musical copyright through the criminal justice system, parliamentary committees, and the offices of a music licensing and royalty organization. Throughout, he demonstrates how copyright law is inextricably entwined with race, popular music, postcolonial governance, indigenous rights, and the struggle to create a more equitable society.
About the Author
Veit Erlmann is Professor and Endowed Chair of Music History at the University of Texas, author of Reason and Resonance: A History of Modern Aurality and Music, Modernity, and the Global Imagination: South Africa and the West, and editor of Hearing Cultures: Essays on Sound, Listening, and Modernity.