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Copyright Compensation in the Internet Age

The original conception of copyright in 1710 (Craig Joyce, n.d.) was that it usually covers only the expression of a particular idea and not the idea itself, but this was a very long time ago, before the challenges of a digital society.

Since then, copyright has had to encompass a wide variety of extended property far removed from it’s original case studies that were available at the time.

In the Internet Age, digital items such as music, video (films, series, etc.) and computer software have become effortless to make illegal copies of and transmit on mass around the globe in a short period of time.

 

This has become a very real problem for would-be copyright owners and many have debated alternative copyright compensation models to boot (Ville Oksanen and Mikko Välimäki, 2005).

 

One of the most obvious compensation models that has been sizably debated is the potential to add levies, or “added value charges” to services such as Internet access.

 

The Internet is a very readily available, extremely generous marketplace of free information without any delay to the end user in terms of providing fast and immediate gratification to any volume of knowledge desirable at the time.

 

By adding additional charges to what has always been freely available content would without a doubt hinder the adoption thereof and in situ, more than not, simply create an uprising where individuals would just source the material elsewhere; perhaps on an alternative Internet that could develop due to such contrivances.

 

A better compensation model that has already been quite effective to date is that of relatively cheap hosted services that individuals can consume remotely.

For music and video there is the option to provide a Streaming Service where the listener or viewer consumes what they need at the time for a small monthly fee payable to the Streaming company which in turn pays for licensing to the relevant bodies or artists; while software can be provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS), where the actual software vendor hosts their software themselves and the end user simply uses it as and when required through a Web Application or Mobile App.

 

This has already proved to be very effective in the following examples:

  • Music
    Spotify, Google Play Music, Apple Music
  • Video
    NetFlix, Amazon Video
  • Software
    Salesforce, DocuSign, Statvoo Analytics, Dropbox, Slack

 

It is important to make sure that copyright owners get the requested proceeds (EnterIE, n.d.) or an agreeable amount so that they can continue creating valuable consumable content that the world has come to rely on as value added produce instead of individuals being forced to pay over the top levies regardless of their involvement.

We should pay for what we use, not for what everybody’s general baseline usage is.

 

References:

 

Craig Joyce (n.d.) Copyright Law – Sixth Edition [Online] Case.edu, Available from: https://case.edu/affil/sce/authorship/Joyce-part1.pdf (Accessed on 9th September 2017)

 

Ville Oksanen and Mikko Välimäki (2005) Copyright Levies as an Alternative Compensation Method for Recording Artists and Technological Development [Online] Serci.org, Available from: http://www.serci.org/2005/oksanen.pdf (Accessed on 9th September 2017)

 

EnterIE (n.d.) Compensation for private copying: an economic analysis of alternative models [Online] DigitalEurope.org, Available from: http://www.digitaleurope.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=852&language=en-US&PortalId=0&TabId=353 (Accessed on 9th September 2017)