Inspired by new digital technologies, diverse actors in cultural and creative industries propagate conflicting visions of how to adequately innovate – or rather preserve and strictly enforce – copyright-related business models, which has resulted in substantial amounts of regulatory uncertainty. Looking at a decade of regulatory discourse at industry events in the popular music industry in Germany, we investigate how these actors make sense of and strategically shape this uncertainty in the process of industry transformation. Our longitudinal argumentative discourse analysis reveals cycles of regulatory propaganda of two discourse coalitions that do not engage in debate, but aim to find support for competing business models among regulators and the public. Organizing, canceling, and participating in industry events are discursive strategies used effectively to transport their claims by both industry lobbyists and challenging actors, but industry incumbents are failing to use these sites for testing out and introducing new business models. We conclude that regulatory struggles, not least at industry events, mediate between disruptive technologies and business model innovation.
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