Who is That Singing Your Song?

Understanding folk music, culture, copyright and the law in a digital age

Manojna Yeluri
Péter Munkácsi
  • event type:WOMEX 15 Conference
  • date:24 Oct 2015
  • time:16:15 - 17:00
  • city/area:Budapest
  • venue:Conference Room 2, Bálna
  • country:Hungary
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts

Chaired by:

Manojna Yeluri (India)
Founder/legal consultant, Artistik License


Péter Munkácsi (Hungary)
Senior adviser, Ministry of Justice

The aesthetics of traditional folk music along with its historically rich character often make it a popular sampling choice for composers and musicians from other genres. However, does the intentional incorporation of a folk song in a new musical work create legal obligations – monetary and moral, for the composer of the latter? There have been several instances in the past decade where a number of community-based folk musicians have complained of the misappropriation of their musical traditions by record labels, producers and composers. On some occasions, these communities have sought to invoke legal remedies to ensure the protection of their cultural heritage. How effective have such litigations been and what is their role in defining the future of traditional folk music in a global music landscape?