ITM and Copyright - Survey for Musicians based in the US

ITM and Copyright - Survey for Musicians based in the US

Dear all,

I am a post-doctoral research fellow at the London School of Economics and I am also a traditional musician who occasionally plays in sessions around London. Over the past few years I have noticed a number of interesting debates on the issue of Irish traditional music and copyright in the discussions section here at I previously conducted a survey on the subject of Irish traditional music and copyright with regard to UK and Ireland-based musicians and I recently completed my Ph D thesis at Queen Mary University on the same topic.

Now I have launched another survey on this issue with a focus on US based musicians (see link below).

I have tried to design the survey questions to give participants as much scope as possible in making their answers. If you are interested in completing the survey, click on the link below.

However, please note that there are some conditions for eligibility for the survey.

The survey is soley intended for Irish traditional musicians (of any level or ability) who live or work in the US (for legal jurisdictional reasons). You must be over 18 to complete this survey.

The survey is accessible at:

If you would like further information, feel free to email me at

Thank you

Luke McDonagh

Re: ITM and Copyright - Survey for Musicians based in the US

Interesting survey, although fair warning -- while each question has a group of buttons for canned answers, the questions often involve gray areas where I ended up having to write a longer or more nuanced answer. Took longer than I thought.

For example, there’s a lot of stuff in there about whether arrangers of trad tunes should be acknowledged or compensated for live performance, recordings, etc., which gets into the whole copyright-farming and lockup issue. At least the survey does include text boxes for that kind of answer, so it’s a decent design.

I’m a little curious about what this is aimed at, if it’s anything more than just general research.

Re: ITM and Copyright - Survey for Musicians based in the US

Many thanks for your response and for taking the time to answer the the questions. I did my best to design the survey to allow respondents to give a mix of multiple choices as well as wide open boxes where respondents can give their opinions more thoroughly if they wish to.

The aim of the academic research is to discover what Irish traditional musicians in the US think about the relationship (or lack thereof) between copyright and traditional music. In particular, I would like to know whether musicians in the US think copyright has a positive, negative or very little effect on the creative practices of traditional musicians.There is a lot of generalised discussion of traditional music and copyright, and in particular the question whether copyright threatens traditional practices of sharing of music etc. so I thought the best way to approach the issue would be to generate research data from direct sources - the musicians themselves.

It’s primarily a legal research project, so the questions are framed from the perspective of the law - but respondents are free to agree or disagree e.g. with the way the law facilitates the recognition of copyright in traditional ‘arrangements’, and respondents can also make any criticisms of the law or to make any suggestions for legal reform.

If you have any further questions, feel free to respond or to send me an email.


Re: ITM and Copyright - Survey for Musicians based in the US

Update - there was a slight error in one of the questions the above linked survey - this error has been corrected in this version of the survey which is the one I would like musicians to fill out going forward. There is no need for musicians who have already filled out the survey to re-do it - I will acknowledge the error in my eventual research findings.

The corrected survey is accessible at: