p2p innovation and policy advice

Found this interesting paper on the effects of p2p technology … by the Digital Media Project team at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

New digital technologies and the online environment pose significant challenges to the traditional business models of the music and film industries. The digital era threatens current revenue models by changing the environment in which copyright operates. To prevent unauthorized copying of their works, copyright holders have traditionally relied on practical barriers as well as their legal exclusive rights to control reproduction and distribution. The new technologies vitiating those practical barriers— peer-to-peer (P2P) services, digital compression technologies, and others— are demonstrating just how empty those legal rights may be and how poorly matched they may be with cultural norms and practice. Consumers are exploiting the exciting potential for greater interactivity and involvement with content, but also the opportunity to acquire content illicitly, and are thus finding themselves in conflict with many of those who make content possible.

It aims to

“… support policymakers’ decision making by delineating the potential consequences of policy actions in these areas. To do so, it assesses how such action would impact relevant social values and four business models representative of current and emerging attempts to generate viable revenues from digital media. The authors caution that government intervention is currently premature because it is unlikely to strike an appropriate balance between achieving industry goals while supporting other social values, such as consumer rights, the diversity of available content, and technological innovation.”

Interesting to see how different business models that employ p2p technologies are envisioned … sure, nobody will know how this turns out, still, it’s better to face the future prepared.

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