Piracy of Digital Content

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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.



Case Study

The Sports Rights Owners Sector

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.


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