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 far less attention at a policy level than the enforcement measures.  The industry lobbying is overweight with recommendations for way s that governments can impose restrictions in order to protect copyright material. Conversely, the debate is less about how changing a business model can overcome the issues around the online dissemination of infringing content.  

This issue has, of course, moved on a lot since I began this blog in 2008. Streaming has become the music industry's favoured business model, and  streaming services like Spotify have blossomed. This has shifted the landscape. However, it is historically true that each time a new technology appears, the industries that have vested interests in copyright, increase the intensity of their lobbying. It is important for those engaged in copyright policy, to keep an eye on new developments and understand their implications and the opportunities for new ways to structure the entertainment and music businesses. 

 In this section, I have been 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 it may 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?'

Did you know that the London Olympics have their own special ‘right’ under intellectual property law?

 There’s a quietly brewing disgust at the way the London 2012 Olympics are enforcing their rights under trade mark and copyright law. It’s  not just the granny who knitted Olympic dolls, and infringing shop windows, it’s happening online too. For those who have followed the ACTA saga, it could be a  telling precedent.   In the latest twist, an  Irish parody of the appallingly bad Olympic commentary was taken off-line under orders from the International Olympic Committee. It follows investigations into online traders, who include none other than the royal sister-in-law Pippa Middleton.

Read more: Olympic net police line up Irish boats and Pippa Middleton

The European Commission has released a new draft directive aimed at regulating the music collecting societies. It follows several years of effort by the Commission, in which it tried out various  initiatives, all of which failed to reduce the domination of the collecting societies or stop their bad behaviour. The new directive tries to make them more

Read more: EU aims to bring music collecting societies into line

--- And a  Merry Christmas to all Iptegrity readers!---

They can’t copyright Christmas can they?  The  public debates around  Christmas and commercial profit tend to focus on consumerism and retail sales. What role does copyright and intellectual property  play in it? Scratch the surface and you will find that intellectual property  plays a critical role in making that consumer Christmas happen. Indeed, it is like the cement which binds so many elements that comprise what we now call ‘Christmas’.

Read more: A Happy Copyright Christmas!


Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity 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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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.

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review


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