Music Copyright: Understanding Students’ Beliefs and Perceptions

Kathleen DeLaurenti, College of William and Mary


DeLaurenti will present findings from a phenomenological research study examining undergraduate student beliefs about music copyright. Using this methodology provided students an opportunity to share how they understand the phenomenon of music copyright in their lives and how it influences their decisions in the digital and analog world. There have been significant changes in the way that music is available and marketed since research in the early 2000s that investigated undergraduate students and music piracy. Study results show that students have complicated, nuanced, and variable ideas about how music copyright does and should affect them. New methods of access to music have changed undergraduates’ approach to decision making and have had significant effects on their attitudes towards piracy. This presentation will share the full study results and propose librarian­led solutions to better educating students about copyright law.