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?'

 EMI’s recorded music business has been sold to Universal, owned by French conglomerate Vivendi,  in a $1.9 billion  (£1.1billion) deal which will give Universal control of around one third of the global music business. EMI’s other half – music publishing – has been wrapped up in a $2.2 billion (£1.39 billion)  package under a consortium which includes the Hollywood film mogul, David Geffen (famous for having dinner with Lord Mandelson in the summer of ’09). For policy-makers the deal stirs up a hornet’s nest of issues.

Read more: Vivendi picks up EMI – Abbey Road is safe, but is the Internet?

 Allegation of fraud against Spanish music collecting society results in arrests.

 The offices of the Spanish music  collecting society SGAE (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) have been raided by police following an investigation by the Anticorruption Prosecutor.  According to a report in El Pais, the police entered the SGAE offices last Friday and staff were locked out while police went through computers and documents. The chairman of the board, Eduardo ‘Teddy' Bautista was

Read more: Spanish police raid copyright society in fraud probe

How should one distribute the video of one's grandchild's wedding? Well maam, one can set up one's own YouTube channel.

 The Queen is an unlikely pundit for new Internet business models,  but her grandson's wedding on May 29th will be setting an example for others to follow. And it   gives us an opportunity to consider the possibilities for new   Internet business models   and see if there are any  insights for policy-making.


When Charles and Diana got married in 1981, it was a relatively simple affair. A procession from St Pauls Cathedral, watched all in real time by 750 million people  -   one single BBC television feed distributed by government-licenced national networks.


When William and Kate get married next week in Westminster Abbey,  it is predicted that 2.4 billion people will watch it .  But it's not just the numbers, it is  how they will watch it. All the complex machinery  of the Internet  will kick in, creating  a challenge for the broadband providers and a potential headache for copyright. 

Read more: It's a right royal (wedding) download!


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.

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" 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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