Transformation of the Recorded Music Industry to the Digital Age: A Review of Technology-Driven Changes in the EU Copyright Framework Focusing on Their Effect on Digital Music Markets

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https://helda.helsinki.fi/dhanken/handle/123456789/167536
Title: Transformation of the Recorded Music Industry to the Digital Age: A Review of Technology-Driven Changes in the EU Copyright Framework Focusing on Their Effect on Digital Music Markets
Author: Günther, Petteri
Contributor: Svenska handelshögskolan, institutionen för redovisning och handelsrätt, handelsrätt
Hanken School of Economics, Department of Accounting and Commercial Law, Commercial Law
Belongs to series: Economics and Society – 307
ISSN: 0424-7256 (printed)
2242-699X (PDF)
ISBN: 978-952-232-325-5 (printed)
978-952-232-326-2 (PDF)
Abstract: Technology has upended the music industry. ‘Digital’ has changed the mechanics of music distribution; first, CDs were replaced by downloads such as mp3 files, and today, the share of access-based distribution such as streaming services of total recorded music sales is growing globally. However, ‘piracy’ still remains perceived as a problem. The technological disruption has given rise to challenges for copyright in an increasingly digital world – the ‘information society’. Copyright law has generally changed in response to external pressures – societal changes such as technological changes. And today copyright law is typically applied to rapidly changing technologies and services facilitated by those technologies. This in turn necessitates taking a broader view to understand how copyright legislation has evolved to respond to those changes affecting music distribution, as well as whether the European copyright framework has managed to support growth in the digital music markets in Europe, and to develop a European digital single-market. Looking at the digital music markets of today, there appears to be an ongoing shift in music consumption habits toward access-based offerings such as streaming services. And while illegal activities remain perceived as a problem, subscription streaming services have shown potential for decreasing piracy. Therefore, with a view to improving the functioning of the digital music markets, focusing on measures that aim to support increasing the demand for legitimately available content might be effective – as suggested by the potential that subscription streaming services have demonstrated. Ultimately, control over content may not alone be sufficient: if online music services do not live up to consumers’ expectations, the level of intellectual property protection alone might prove to be an insufficient answer to the challenges faced by the music industry. Instead, incentivizing consumers to use legitimate offerings by increasing the relative attractiveness of online music services in relation to unauthorized channels should be factored in. Overall, despite for instance the potential that subscription streaming services have shown, reducing infringement on the internet requires also appropriate measures for keeping illegal activities at bay, and understanding that there might be no one-size-fits-all solution to combating piracy. Reducing online piracy, to be effective, might well require different types of anti-piracy measures, like involving intermediaries and using ‘follow the money’ approach to ad-funded sites offering unauthorized copyrighted content. To support growth in the digital music markets in Europe the focus should be on developing a market-oriented approach with a combination of appropriate measures that both target supporting growth of legitimate sales of digital music and decreasing piracy by having available effective online copyright enforcement measures.
URI: https://helda.helsinki.fi/dhanken/handle/123456789/167536
Date: 2016-11-18
Subject: copyright
intellectual property
law
music


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