Framed within the broader context of law's engagement with modernism, this paper offers an argument in defence of copyright protection of John Cage's 4′33″ as a ‘musical work’ under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This argument approaches the issues involved analytically and contextually. In doing so, it draws on both legal and non-legal sources. Throughout the paper, the underlying question remains as to whether Cage's 4′33″ really is – or is not – a challenge to law (and to music).
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