Since the recent enforcing of laws and regulations trying to control or “tame” file sharing of music and film content, I have been reluctant to state if there exists a current legal solution that applies to this matter. General copyright law confronted with the growing technical mechanisms may not supply a concrete answer to the needs of the music and film industry.
A recent post by Ethan Kaplan (commenting on Glenn Peoples’ article) has triggered the preoccupation to share some thoughts on the legal implications of the necessary assessment of the market situation before creating more regulations to control online file sharing.
It is possible that copyright law as we know it and all of the different regulations that have risen in recent times might not be able to entirely cope with piracy?
Is it better to envisage a long term marketing solution instead of short term and quickly outdated legal structures?
A few months ago, after listening and taking some notes during a heated debate over the Spanish “Ley Sinde”, I began to realize that a possibility of a solution could be – instead of enforcing legal measures that cannot catch up with technology – to promote alternative commercialization channels for these contents. That is where Netflix appears as a potential solution, also in light of its latest subscribers growth and recent fall of DVD sales.
However, Kaplan makes clear that the difference between visual media and audio media does not allow as a whole to apply the ‘Netflix solution’ to the music industry. He states that as media is ubiquitous and does not monopolize the senses, the least amount of investment in order to enjoy it derives in a lower value.
The discussion over online streaming media is just beginning. Later this year we might discover the launch of new alternatives by Apple or Google, as well as proper adaptations of current platforms such as the Amazon Cloud Drive. Moreover, on the film side, the recent acquisition of UK’s Lovefilm by Amazon will probably set the new script for a ‘European Netflix.’
What remains a necessary option aside from enacting new file sharing laws is, without any doubt, the developing of an alternative way to expand the music and film industry business.
It’s out there: