Gradhiva n°12


Music has no author

November 2010

Special issue edited and presented by Christine Guillebaud, Victor A. Stoichita and Julien Mallet

At a time when intellectual property is the subject of a heated debate in France and within various international organisations, how is it identified in different societies around the world?

This issue examines key concepts related to copyright and creation, from analyses focusing on music.

It recalls the historical background of the emergence of copyright and authorship as concepts, and the difficulty raised by their extension to other cultural settings. The studies included in this issue are “ethnographies of copyright” in the sense that each is trying in its own way to closely follow the basic principles of ownership of musical ideas. They examine situations like performances, contracts and disagreements within their cultural contexts, but also in their confrontation with the now globalised principles and practices of intellectual property.

Buy this issue online 


Special issue : Music has no author. Ethnographies of copyright

  • Introduction, by Christine Guillebaud, Victor A. Stoichita et Julien Mallet

  • Copyright and Intellectual Property. Re-examining an old debate, the American example, by Pierre-André Mangolte
  • Soli Deo Gloria. Was Bach a composer?, by Antoine Hennion
  • Nimbuda or the Bitter Lemon’s Trajectory. Regional Musics and the Film Industry in India, by Christine Guillebaud
  • “Intelligent thieves”: ethics of creativity among professional Gypsy musicians in Romania, by Victor A. Stoichita
  • Techno music, mixes and sampling. A challenge to notions of property, by Guillaume Kosmicki
  • Creation and the Commons. Tension and recomposition in Madagascar and Réunion, by Julien Mallet and Guillaume Samson


  • Woodstock in the Amazon and the Kingston Ghetto Superstar. Legal and moral ownership rights in the real world, by Laurent Aubert
  • The political and cultural context of intellectual property rights, by Philippe Aigrain

Studies and essays

  • Amazonian pictography. Concerning the Emerillon beads held by the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, by Pierre Déléage
  • Karel Kupka and the Master-Painters of Arnhem Land. The Biography of an Aboriginal Art Collection, by Jessica De Largy Healy
  • Araucania-Brussels-Paris: the Gustave Verniory Collection at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac. Testament to his Ten Tears in Chile, by Angèle Martin, Paz Nuñez-Regueiro et Carine Peltier

Scientific column


  • 240 pages, 20 x 27 cm
  • 93 illustrations
  • ISBN : 978-2-35744-029-6
  • 20 €