Intellectual Property: Core-Periphery Disparity

Authors: Sophia Jordan*, Mater Dei Catholic High School, Michelle Garcia*, Mater Dei Catholic High School
Topics: Africa
Keywords: South Africa, Intellectual Property, Spatial Inequality
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Intellectual property (IP) covers the ideas created by people including their inventions, writings, designs, and verbal ideas. Piracy is the copying and uncredited use of someone else’s ideas that is sold by another person for profit. The ease of access to technology has meant that over the years, piracy has become more rampant. The popular song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight or Mbube, was composed in 1909 by Solomon Linda in Zulu, South Africa. Linda then moved to Johannesburg and he formed the group, The Original Evening Birds. In 1939, The Original Evening Birds recorded Mbube with their producer Griffiths Motsieloa and by 1948 it had sold over 100,000 copies in Africa. The song was sent to the United States, where Pete Seeger transcribed the song and gave it to his own band, The Weavers. While transcribing the song, Seeger misheard "Uyimbube" as "Wimoweh" which means nothing in Zulu. Not only did Seeger use the song for his own benefit, but other companies such as Gallo Record Company and Walt Disney Company used Linda’s song in Disney’s popular movie and musical The Lion King. To better understand intellectual property rights in a globalized music industry, our study analyzes the intellectual property rights of Solomon Linda’s song Mbube within the perspectives of world systems theory and spatial inequality.

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