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by Dan Ankenman

Repository Citation

Dan Ankenman MONEY FOR NOTHING?: CAN NFTS SOLVE MUSICIANS’ MONETIZATION PROBLEM? Spring 2023 Int’l J. L. Ethics Tech. 1 (2023).
Available at: 10.55574/IRBO3503

Author Information: Dan Ankenman, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.

Abstract: Despite the immeasurable value music provides society, finding ways to monetize their music is often an elusive and challenging prospect for musicians. The music industry has evolved into a consolidated “hits market” in which profits are highly concentrated in a small set of intermediaries and relatively few superstars. This “hits market” not only makes it incredibly difficult for most musicians to make a living with their music, it also fails to capture and compensate musicians who aren’t extremely popular for the significant value they create. In the face of this deadweight loss, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) could be a means of disrupting the economic status quo and creating a superior set of economic incentives for musicians. This Article is the first in the legal literature dedicated to evaluating the viability of NFTs as an additional income stream for musicians. After detailing the economics of the traditional music industry and providing a framework for understanding NFTs’ asserted value, this Article considers constraints imposed by contractual obligations and copyright law to analyze NFTs’ potential to transform music monetization. Ultimately, this Article concludes that, notwithstanding their limitations, NFTs are likely to be an important new source of revenue for musicians who have been left behind by the popularity-driven economic incentives of the traditional music industry.
Keywords: NFTs, Blockchain, Music Monetization, Copyright, Web3.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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DOI: 10.55574/IRBO3503

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