Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Making Money on the 'Net--Business, Not Law, Should Be the Model

Eric Priest has published "Why Emerging Business Models and Not Copyright Law are the Key to Monetising Content Online," in Copyright Law, Digital Content, and the Internet in the Asia-Pacific, edited by Brian Fitzgerald et al., (Sydney University Press, 2008). Here is the abstract.

This chapter considers the primary strategies that the international music and film industries have employed to date, namely lawsuits and technological protections, and why these strategies have failed to produce a viable path to long-term revenue generation. I argue that content owners should not hold out hope that using law (in the form of copyright infringement lawsuits against individuals) or technology (in the form of digital rights management encryption software) will unlock the Web's potential for monetizing their content. Instead, successful monetization of content online will come through business models that can harness and monetize the current behavior of Internet users. There are three emerging such models analyzed in this chapter, each of which has significant potential and challenges: retail online content subscriptions, ad-supported content, and voluntary blanket licensing.

The discussion in this chapter is mostly broad, outlining circumstances facing copyright owners globally, and some emerging potential solutions. Nevertheless, I make a point throughout to highlight the situation in China in particular. China is a challenging but dynamic Internet and digital media market, and is the first market in the world where all three of the emerging models discussed in this chapter are being deployed in an effort to jumpstart the digital creative economy. China is an important market for the rest of the world to watch regarding emerging monetization models.
Download the paper from SSRN here.

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