Freedom, Music and the RIAA: How the Recording Industry Association of America Shapes Culture by De-politicizing Music
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This thesis argues that in the process through which the music industry works to co-opt and commodify genres of music, the music is (de)politicized to appeal to a larger audience. While technological advances in digital media and the internet would seem to bring a decentralized (even democratized) structure that diverts the costly music distribution system allowing for more artists and labels to compete, the RIAA has acted to prevent these technologies from developing their greatest potential. First, I demonstrate how music is commodified and marketed towards consumers. The second part of this thesis uses hip hop as an example to demonstrate how the music industry co-opts a genre of music to sell to the largest number of consumers and in the process changes the political significance of that genre. Finally, I argue that the RIAAâ s attack on file-sharers in the name of copyright protection is a technique for the â Big Fourâ to stop competition from independent artists and labels.
- Masters Theses