The popular music industries

How newspapers are adapting to the digital era

Authored by: Shane Homan

The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415706209
eBook ISBN: 9781315725437
Adobe ISBN: 9781317533986

10.4324/9781315725437.ch10

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Abstract

In 2013 thirty-four Michael Jackson fans sued the King of Pop’s doctor, Conrad Murray, for “emotional damages” derived from the singer’s death. Satisfied that five of the plaintiffs had indeed suffered, a court in Orleans awarded “symbolic damages” of one euro each in February 2014 (Guardian 2014). Beyond its novelty value, the ruling says much about popular music’s trajectories in contemporary cultures. It reinforces how both the performer and their music speak to and for fans, underlining the deeply subjective modes of our choices and connections. Yet it also says something, perhaps, about the extent to which music fans have adopted the juridical and administrative discourses of industry, that our affective interactions with the star and their music are never far away from being transposed into their base commodity and legal forms (especially if threatened).

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