Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

Copyright Business

The other side of the copyright story - the so-called ‘new business models’ - receives relatively little  attention at a policy level.  Moreover, there is little independent research on the real nature of the entertainment industry’s financial problems. The only statistics we have to go on are the music industry ones, and the music industry has a vested interest in those statistics. From a policy perspective, this means that decisions are being made using inadequate information.

However, when we read the business pages we do get insights into other problems in the copyright industries, which may be the real underlying reason for their woes. The case of EMI is a classic example, where the company got into trouble by overburdening itself with a massive debt. In order to determine the forward direction, one would first need to undestand the impact of the debt, how this might have reduced funds available for investment in new systems, and then one could position the impact of unauthorised downloading.

 In this section, I will be logging information about the business of copyright.  The idea is to begin to get a feel for the financial issues of the copyright industries and how to link them to policy decisions. Thus, it may seem a bit disjointed and sketchy, but the idea is to provide threads for further investigation and to see where it leads.

My feeling is that what policy-makers should not be asking is ‘how big a problem is the downloading of copyrighted content?’ but rather, ‘what are the real problems in the copyright business?’. and not 'how can we protect copyrights?' but rather 'how can we achieve revenues for the copyright industries in the online environment?'

Oh-o-oh, no more re-winds as  the music industry begins a love-affair with streaming.  

 2012 was a tipping point for the music industry,  when streamed music from services such as Spotify, finally demonstrated their economic potential. Indeed, the latest figures released by the British recorded music industry, otherwise known as the BPI, suggest that it is finally getting to grips with an Internet business model. So what does this mean for the future of copyright policy? Here are a few comments on the numbers, plus a review of Spotify for policy-makers.

Read more: Will Spotify build the copyright star?

London and Paris offices affected, as well as  New York. And some curious downloading going on in the European Parliament.

Universal Music, which lobbies for enforcement measures against peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, has been caught with its proverbial pants down.  Statistics on Bit Torrent usage, made available by the anti-piracy surveillance company, ScanEye, and uncovered by TorrentFreak, reveal the possibility of  P2P downloading within the offices of copyright industry companies.  For example, the data  links certain   downloaded files of copyrighted television programmes to the  London and  Paris  offices of Universal Music.

Read more: Universal Music caught in its own trap

When petitioning politicians for tougher enforcement measures, Disney Corporation will assure them that the motion picture industry  is bleeding to death. Internet piracy, they will say,  must be stopped in order to  prevent the strangulation of the creative industries and protect the jobs of those who work in them. Hollywood is pretty good at foretelling its own death when there is a politician in the frame.

So it is curious that Hollywood’s greatest corporation can now find a whopping $4 billion to buy out one of its competitors. For Disney Corporation is indeed

Read more: ‘Bleeding’ Disney forks out $4 billion for Star Wars



States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web."

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net


FROM £15.99

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review