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Digital Rights and your Digital Contents


Louie Pitlo


March 9, 2017

The advent of the internet has revolutionised the way that information is handled. In addition to this, technology has made it very possible for people to rip, burn and distribute copyrighted material. This sharing of material has reached gigantic proportions because of the internet. This has a big impact on intellectual property—plagiarism is now easier than ever, and the sharing of copyrighted material has become rampant. In this context, how will artists, producers and writers protect their rights to the products and outputs that they produce?

For many years, researchers explore the different models of the digital media business that are surfacing and they seek to come up with categories in which to put these models. Moreover, they trace the evolution of file sharing from the appearance of Napster up to the time when peer-to-peer file sharing became widespread. For instance, their discussion started with the earthquake caused by Napster to the traditional music industry and the way in which it changed the relationship among distribution, payment and rights. They then categorised and enumerated the various models. The first major category is the models based largely on Digital Rights Management (DRM). This includes strict protection of copy, which is very much the same as the model without the online component and setting the limit on price. The latter model is lax in terms of copy protection and tends to charge only up to the costs of P2P file-sharing. The next chunk of models relies on the voluntary licensing of users. Through the widespread distribution of digital media, users are free to copy and distribute but their use is limited unless he buys a license for its full use. Contributing voluntarily to providers of digital media is another model in which the price is entirely up to the user. Under models based on complements, users and consumers enjoy a wide variety of services that they pay for, and let them and copy digital media for free. Lastly, there are also models that highlight the intervention of the State. After going through the models, they analysed the dynamics in the consumption of music. They argued that consumers make the most of the music when their rights to it are not limited. For instance, digital rights management, according to some researchers has been the answer to the music industry to the onslaught of P2P file sharing. Furthermore, they asserted that the middle ground will be struck and artists get rewarded well for their efforts, and consumers will get to enjoy the digital contents of art, music and other digitally-transferable media. 

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