Prof. Dr. Martin Kretschmer

September 21, 2022 / 4:30pm

Prof. Dr. Martin Kretschmer

Public-Keynote on 21st September, 4:30-6:00pm
Copyright and Non-use 

One of the core rationales of copyright law is “to benefit learning”. The law attempts to do this by encouraging creative production and use through awarding exclusive rights. Yet, we live in a world where most materials protected by copyright law are not in use. This talk reviews the empirical evidence about the use of in- and out-of-copyright materials, and of those whose copyright status is uncertain. Risk based strategies to release such materials (including financial, reputational, ethical and time risks) will be explored.

The keynote opens the expert workshop Copyright, CARE and African Music Archives: Tensions between Artists' Interests and the Repatriation of Music, which is organized by the African Music Archives at Mainz University, the Mainz University Library, the Institute for Anthropology and African Studies, CEDITRAA, NFDI4Culture and the Center for Digital Music Documentation (CDMD) of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz.

Copyright, CARE and African Music Archives: Tensions between Artists' Interests and the Repatriation of Music

Since the last two decades, archives collecting African music - both on the continent and in the Global North - find themselves increasingly confronted with a growing interest in historical recordings of popular music. Researchers, musicians and representatives of the music industry have come to appreciate these recordings as scholarly subjects, as artistic inspiration, or as untapped commercial resources. With more and more collections being digitized, access to the material could easily be granted globally and the interests of the above mentioned groups could be met. Especially, African academics and artists could access the music easily from their respective countries, and thus, a digital repatriation of the music would be possible: However, given that currently most popular music recordings fall under copyright legslation, archives face a situation where hey may want to grant access but are prevanted to do so by law.


This workshop brings together archivists, scholars, law makers, lawyers, business people and musicans to address the following issues:
How do we allow for an accessibility of our colections while at the same time respecting copyright laws?
Is such an access a ready a digital restitution or repatriation, or does this take more?
What kind of ethical, legal and technical framework does it take to make the music avalable?
How do we apply CARE criterta for the AMA’ s and other archives' holdings and data?
What would be the collective benefit of such an availability?
Which hegemonic aspects of research infrastructure between Africa, Europe and the Americas, but also within Africa do we have to keep in mind?


Participants will discuss these issues in a number of round tables that will allow to address different interests and perspectives vis-a-vis the workshop theme.
Interested persons are cordially invited to follow the lecture remotely (via Zoom). To receive the access data, please write to