Edit = Digital Copyright Trends – Laura Sykes

November 12, 2006 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

Digital copyright is an area where the technology has advanced a lot faster than the laws and social codes.  Both companies and consumers have been unsure how to proceed, with companies refusing to advance at the rate needed and consumers wanting more.  The emergences of companies, such as iTunes, who exist in the newer technological realm, have paved the way for a new type of consumption: digital media.

The fact that most companies did nothing to change the way we consume media or the laws surrounding media consumption, created a bit of chaos once digital media became popular.  People wanted to buy it, but had no legal way to do so.  By falling behind the new technologies, companies missed out on opportunities and alienated customers.  In my opinion, music was the first area to deal heavily with this problem, followed by movies and television.

                        Currently, companies are trying to play catch-up.  They are creating new ways for the consumers to buy and trying to adjust copyright laws to fit.  Since companies were behind in the technology, the process is slower and certain companies are still not embracing the technology as much as they could.

                        Nettwerk is an example of a music company that is embracing all of the new technology.  Terry McBride, the CEO of Nettwerk is a firm believer in following the technology.  Nettwerk has been releasing music in different formats, giving consumers the choice to listen the way they want.  One recent Nettwerk release has allowed fans to either buy the album normally on a cd, buy it digitally from a store like iTunes, buy it on a USB stick, as well as separating out guitar and vocal tracks, letting the fan mix their own version of a song.   Nettwerk, is helping consumers rather than suing them.  McBride has publicly opposed the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for suing the music fans and has even paid the legal fees of one of the defendants.  Being flexible and keeping up to date with technology has allowed Nettwerk to embrace the new instead of clinging to the old.  They are better equipped to serve the tech-savvy consumer and this will make them much more successful in the long run.

          It is an important lesson for public relations practitioners to stay up to date with technology.  It moves so fast and has become such an integral part of our lives that we cannot afford to fall behind.  Companies must listen to what the customers want and how they want it.  They must be versatile rather than clinging to the same old models.  Keeping up with technology and the consumer as well as being willing to try new things is what will allow companies to be successful in the long term.      

Laura – Very interesting topic.  This is such a good one for you.  Editting was pretty easy I just had one sentence I could not understand to correct.  – Mel

Links!

www.savethemusicfan.com  – Terry McBride talks about his beliefs and why music is not a commodity.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use – a brief overview of copyright and fair use laws. 

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/5t3cwW3SZQmV2npBBtrPkT0 – recent article from the CEO of EMI record label stating that the CD is dead.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/jan-june03/digital_5-01.html – an old article from when iTunes was introduced.  This shows that there has been some progress.

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Etiquette in an Electronic Era Offshore Labour- Edited Version

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