Piracy of Digital Content

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Piotr Stryszowski, Danny Scorpecci
07 July 2009
9789264065437 (PDF) ;9789264064508(print)

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This book studies digital piracy - the infringement of copyrighted content (such as music, films, software, broadcasting, books, etc.) - where the end product does not involve the use of hard media, such as CDs and DVDs. It presents the unique economic properties of markets for pirated digital products, where the existence of a large number of suppliers willing to provide pirated content at virtually no cost poses new and difficult challenges to copyright owners and policy makers in combating that piracy. These economic features, together with rapid technological developments, create special and unique problems to policy makers and the large number of actors involved in different jurisdictions. This book also provides an illustrative, in-depth case study of the sports rights owners sector, highlighting how it is affected by digital piracy.
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  • Cover and Table of Contents
  • Introduction
    In response to rising concerns in government and the business community, the OECD has launched a project to assess the economic effects of counterfeiting and piracy. The objective of the project is to improve factual understanding and awareness of the effects that infringements of intellectual property rights, as described and defined in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), have on governments, business and consumers in member countries and non-member economies.
  • Market Overview

    This chapter outlines the markets where digitally pirated products are exchanged. To do so, it i) explores the key properties of digital products, ii) identifies sectors that supply products prone to digital piracy and indicates possible delivery methods, iii) illustrates how the markets for pirated digital products operate, and iv) outlines the economic mechanisms driving those markets.

    Concerning the descriptive analysis of copyrighted products that have been subject to digital piracy, a set of properties has been identified that make these products significantly different from pirated products that have resulted in tangible/physical goods. These features include: the disembodied and non-physical nature of digital products, their interdependence on hardware, the characteristics that allow their digital delivery and the "immediate" potentially unlimited geographic scope of the market. These features have certain consequences for the further analysis of the phenomenon of digital piracy.

  • Drivers of Digital Piracy

    This chapter examines the supply and demand drivers of digital piracy.

    The decision of a party to supply pirated digital products is driven by factors related to i) the market potential that include the personal motives that drive suppliers of the pirated digital content, ii) technological considerations that facilitate reproduction and distribution of pirated digital content, and iii) the institutional environment that determine relevant market risks (Table 2.1). These factors may differ according to the type of infringement involved, as well as across different economies.

  • Industry Initiatives and Institutional Remedies

    This chapter presents industry initiatives to counter digital piracy and institutional remedies for the problem.

    The term "industry" is used here to denote copyrights holders and refers to two types of associations: i) cross-sector associations that are devoted to combating counterfeiting and piracy, including digital piracy, and ii) sector associations in a given industry that, among other issues, deal with the problem of digital piracy.
    The main cross-sector industry initiatives of important international dimension were outlined in the Phase I report of the OECD’s study on counterfeiting and piracy (OECD, 2008).1 These initiatives are devoted to combating counterfeiting and piracy, including digital piracy.

  • Case Study

    The sale of rights to broadcasters is a major source of income for those sport organisations and leagues that control and own sports and sporting events. Depending on individual contracts, the sale of those broadcast and associated rights could include:

    • live broadcasting of sporting events (TV and radio).
    • live broadcasting of sporting events (TV and radio).
    • live or delayed streaming of events on the Internet.
    • delayed broadcasts/streaming of those sporting events.
    • packaging of highlights.
    • subsequent DVD releases as individual events or as part of sport compilations.
    • subsequent rebroadcasts as "classic" or "historic" events.

    Broadcast rights may include regional or geographical limitations; for example, some broadcast rights may only cover specific countries or regions, and broadcasters in individual countries would have to obtain the rights to broadcast in their own territories. The most obvious example of this is the Olympics, where the successful host broadcaster generally re-sells the rights to national broadcasters that want to provide coverage of the Olympic events in their countries.

  • Annex A
    This annex presents legal foundations for copyrights and discusses regulations that refer to copyright infringements.
    In simple terms, the doing of an act in relation to a work may be an infringement of copyright in the work if it is an act that is within the exclusive rights of the copyright owner of the work.1 This concept applies to digital piracy in the same way, and to the same extent, as it applies to any other act of copyright infringement.
  • Annex B
    The OECD Council recommends that, in establishing or reviewing their policies to assist the development of broadband markets, promote efficient and innovative supply arrangements and encourage effective use of broadband services, Member countries should implement:
  • Annex C
    WE, the Ministers and representatives of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Community, assembled in Seoul, Korea, on 17 and 18 June 2008 to discuss the future of the Internet Economy.
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