University of Miami Law Review


Mark Kuivila


As of 2015, the American entertainment market was worth about $600 billion, and it is projected to substantially exceed that figure in coming years. The global entertainment industry is worth about $2 trillion, meaning the U.S. is responsible for over a quarter of total global entertainment revenue. These statistics illustrate the staggering impact of the American entertainment industry on the global markets for film, television, and music. The American music industry is particularly dominant in its global market, earning half of world-wide sync revenues and accounting for nearly a third of all global music revenue. Entertainment is clearly the United States’ chief cultural export and has a profound effect on the country’s international image.

The figures above show the integral position of American media in the global market and the importance of studying and understanding the entertainment industries. Because of the country’s influential role in media, U.S. copyright law, as it pertains to these industries, has a significant impact on the fundamental structures of both domestic and international entertainment business. However, a large portion of the common dialogue surrounding issues in U.S. copyright law can be dominated by vague policy arguments rather than more objective economic analysis. This article seeks to blend the policy-based and empirical perspectives, exploring the implications of U.S. copyright law on artistic culture and creative industry itself as an economic system. It will focus on the particularly fickle and confusing area of “music law” and how the current framework is inapplicable to modern music culture and destructive to the music industry as a whole.