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Beyoncé’s release raises questions concerning the adequacy of common narratives about the music industry, consumers, and creators in the digital era, as well as dominant assumptions about musical practice. Changing music industry digital era landscapes also have implications for intellectual property frameworks, which touch upon many aspects of industry practice in addition to consumer and creator access. Many have emphasized the threat of unauthorized uses to argue for stronger intellectual property protection. This Essay uses current digital era debates about music creation and consumption as a starting point to consider underlying dominant assumptions about musical practice and the implications of actual processes of music perception and cognition for such ongoing debates.



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