Monday, July 31, 2006

Kazaa giving in

It was clear at the beginning of the year that the music industry was gaining terrain on the copyright issue, at last. All the legal battles had pointed at last to the same conclusion and there was no safety any more in any country for companies like Napster, Kazaa and BitTorrent. Napster went legal, BitTorrent went legal, and Kazaa has now given up.

The music sector of the content industry has had problems in defending its copyright and cashing fees due to the peer-to-peer filesharing networks from the beginning. A legal body like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has fought battles for years, like the international organisation IFPI. But with Kazaa giving in and turning legal, every other battle will be a formal process.

Will this mean that there will not be any illegal filesharing any longer and that everyone will pay fees? That would be the time for iTunes and other services! But I guess that it will be more realistic to think that illegal filesharing will continue. So the legal cases will continue, despite the educational programs which have been established in several countries.

So the next battlefield will be the movie industry. Despite the lessons yielded by the music industry, the movie industry will have to go through a similar cycle of battles: court cases against parents, press releases, educational programs. Of course the P2P networks tuned legal can shorten the cycle by making deals with Hollywood, Bollywood and all the other local movie industries.

I am still surprised that the copyright owners fight for their position from the legal side, while never taking any pro-active action in the distribution itself. The music industry waited till Apple came up with a device and business plan for the songs with the ingredients: reasonable tariffs, no hardware limitations and a fine collection of music and songs. The movie people will have to find a similar formula and believable retail player: iTunes for movies. A similar action will be needed for the electronic books coming up: iTunes for eBooks. In this way iTunes might even surpass

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Blog Posting Number: 459

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