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New Business Models in the Digital Age and Copyright: Toward an Understanding

  • 01 July 2013
  • Articles

Internet has two sides: on one hand, it is a threat that lurks and undermines the rights of authors of works circulating on the web and, on the other it is presented as a suitable market with opportunities for everyone.
The entertainment industry that initially was against the new enemy now seeks to make peace.

We cannot ignore that the advent of the Internet is the beginning of a new paradigm, which involves new forms of communication, new patterns of consumption and entertainment. Consumers are no longer content with selecting products or services from a wide selection but now they want to participate, provide feedback and share it. We call these new consumers “prosumers”: they consume and produce.

Given this context, new companies have been created to satisfy this behavior, based on exchange of information as Internet essence. An example in Argentina is the website Taringa!, a virtual community in which users can exchange texts, music, videos, pictures, among other files. A new business model that although satisfies the needs of “prosumers”, in many cases also threats the rights of the authors of the content posted on the site.

Consequently, this virtual community, like many others, has been the target of lawsuits seeking to close them down due to copyright infringing. This decision to destroy the enemy was the first reaction of the entertainment industry, which turned out to be the most affected by the free flow of Internet content. Consistently, also the industry has proposed several laws at global level to stop this indiscriminate exchange.

Currently, entertainment industries have been tempered and in many cases held agreements with data exchange websites in order to “regulate” somehow the flow of content protected by Copyright.

In Argentina, Taringa! echoed this worldwide prevailing trend and recentlyentered an agreement with the Cámara Argentina del Libro (Argentine Book Chamber) whereby Taringa! will give the organization its own reporting channel that enables the Argentine Book Chamber to report content violating Copyright, close down them automatically and then review them. Furthermore, Taringa! agreed with the Sociedad Argentina de Autores y Compositores (Argentine Association of Authors and Composers (SADAIC) and the Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas (Argentine Chamber of Phonographic and VIdeogram Producers (CAPIF) to facilitate the exchange of content over the Internet.

The execution of these agreements is a turning point in our country regarding the conflict posed by the circulation of works protected by Copyright in the digital environment for the entertainment industry. At the same time, it opens the way for dialogue and joint work between the different actors in pursuit of achieving an understanding in the absence of specific regulations.

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New Business Models in the Digital Age and Copyright: Toward an UnderstandingNew Business Models in the Digital Age and Copyright: Toward an Understanding