A tax break for leather pants?

WASHINGTON U.-ST. LOUIS (US) — A new website (thediscography.org) takes a look at the music industry from the courts’ point of view—everything from copyright disputes to tax write-offs for black leather pants.

The site—The Discography: Legal Encyclopedia of Popular Music—features the most extensive database of its kind, covering 2,400 court opinions spanning nearly 200 years of the music industry. The opinions are fully summarized and searchable by a number of variables such as artist, location, time frame, and issue.

“You can see nearly all of U.S. law through the cases and while the cases are educational, they’re also immensely entertaining,” says Loren Wells, musician and recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.

“The Discography is for anyone who legitimately wants a balanced perspective of the music industry and an appreciation for the people who make it happen.”

The site also features a blog that highlights interesting cases, artwork by Wells, and a news section on current legal events in the music industry.

“The value of the database is immense,” says Andrew Martin, a professor of law and political science at Washington University. “Through the lens of music cases we’re able to understand a great deal of American law.”

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