Intellectual Property Rights in it

Setting digital to rights  June 30, 2011 – 09:41 am
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Digital content has been surprisingly difficult to exploit commercially, because of the extraordinary challenges of digital rights management. The difficulties in the market are proving quite damaging to the creative sector: for example, the B-list bands who have to scrape by on gigging revenues, because they’re unable to commercially exploit their recordings. The loss to the creatives is indirectly a loss to us all, because it diminishes the pool of good quality creative works that we can enjoy.

Why is it all so unsatisfactory? It’s common to blame the ease with which DRM technology is circumvented, or to blame the countless illicit downloaders who so weaken the content market. Those problems are real, and they may ultimately be soluble; but even if they were solved, there would be more challenging problems underlying them. The whole world of content exploitation is based on the idea that content providers can license various uses of their works. The statement seems trite and obvious when you read it quickly. But in it lie two great problems:

  • Firstly, that there’s no reliable or universal way to identify a work, or the parties who hold the intellectual property rights in it. Many works bring with them a complex network of rights and rights-holders. Creative content has come into being via many routes, and it used not to matter that each kind of content had its own system of identification,  because each kind of content was accessed separately. But now that we have devices which give us access to all kinds of digital content, regardless of its origin,    the  absence of a global system of identification suddenly matters a great deal. How can we possibly arrange for the licensing of a work if we can’t reliably say which work it is, let alone identify who owns the rights in it?

Source: IPL Blog

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Thank you part one

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