How Corporations Profit From Black Teens’ Viral Content

Posted: December 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

Black teens are shaping the culture we consume. But what happens when they don’t own their work? Dana Nelson, founder of D.F. Nelson PLLC, a New York City firm specializing in copyright and music law, says outmoded intellectual property law needs updating for the digital age. “Copyright law and intellectual property in America does not follow the creative production of artists. Rather, it protects the interests of companies,” she says. “I think it is now harder to distinguish a non-commercial (fair) use from a commercial one.” Whereas Meechie’s dance videos are considered a threat to record companies’ bottom line, his cultural production—and Kayla Newman’s “on fleek,” too—is treated as ripe for the taking by those same companies.

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