Global Market, Regional Restrictions and Copyright Law

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This topic here Made me wondering about the global market and how the regional restrictions imposed by the biggest media corporations and entities affect the selling of distribution of their goods on the Internet. In particular, I’d like to pay attention to the music labels and how they through self-censorship, restrict the legal flow of their products to potential customers, whereby, enable them to justify their multimillion anti-piracy measures.

We live in a global world where most products are produced locally but are distributed globally. For instance, most contemporary music and cinema is produced in the Western world, but through the Internet, television and radio it reaches a global audience. The real question is, why the hell the biggest producers of that content are not interested in selling it to these global customers?

The answer, as you might have guessed is plainly simple and stupid. The whole strategy is based on the classic ‘divide and conquer’ tactic. They are imposing restrictions on the delivery of their content based on the customer’s locale with one sinister plan in mind, to allow private groups or individuals who have already obtained that content by legal means, to redistribute it illegally on the Internet, whereby enabling the big sharks to instigate protective measures in order to safeguard their content against aledged infringing of legal, copyright and other rights granted to them by law.

As I’m an avid electronic music fan and an amateur DJ, I can talk about the music labels and the music industry as a whole.

At the end of the 20th century, most artists became consolidated into large groups employed to manage them proactively by selling, distributing and arranging tours on behalf of them. As these companies grew bigger and bigger, they were able to attract many artists on their rosters and artists started competing with each other ferociously. In the meantime, the industry became oversaturated, the costs of producing music suddenly dropped significantly with the advent of the Internet, the first music creation software and the MP3 format in particular and for most artists it became really difficult to keep up with their lifestyle by doing almost nothing. Then, some of the artists decided to turn the table and started exploring the possibilities to earn not from their talent, but from suing for copyright infringement of their property and settling out of court with whom they consider a pirate or simply put, dangerous for their well-being.

Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge the fact that piracy is widespread and it is a problem, however, the route of the problem, in my opinion, is not, as the big corporations claim, the ordinary torrent downloader, but the artists and the corporations themselves are the culprit.

Should they decide to get into the 21st century by offering flexible payment plans for accessing and obtaining their content, most users would prefer to pay a small fee for accessing the original quality, instead of downloading often crappy, corrupted or even virus-infected content off the Internet. Simply put, fighting against the alleged organised Internet piracy is the hindrance rather than the help.

What’s the solution? Well, I cannot really tell what the solution to this problem is although I have some suggestions:

  • Enabling new micropayment methods for content (E.G. pay per month, pay per XX songs, etc.) rather than the classic pay per song or pay per album model.
  • Distributing promotional or other materials without restrictions (for a specific locale, language, etc.).
  • Giving away albums, singles or other relevant content for free upon purchasing concert tickets for the artist, group or DJ in question.
  • Collaboration with fans (E.G. affiliating with the most devoted fans for promoting content and rewarding them back for their contribution with free tickets for events, free content or other incentives).
  • Using social networks to share new or promotional content for free.

These are some of the methods that could be used to facilitate communication and collaboration between the big media corporations or entities and the consumers. In turn, this would lead to less piracy and more sales in the long term.

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