Borghi, Maggiolino, Montagnani and Nuccio (2012)
|Borghi, Maggiolino, Montagnani and Nuccio (2012)|
|Title:||Determinants in the online distribution of digital content: An exploratory analysis|
|Author(s):||Borghi, M., Maggiolino, M., Montagnani, M.L., Nuccio, M.|
|Citation:||Borghi, M., Maggiolino, M., Montagnani, M.L. & Nuccio, M. (2012). Determinants in the online distribution of digital content: An exploratory analysis. European Journal for Law and Technology, 3(2), 1-29.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||To compose a reliable sample of websites, two criteria of selection have been employed, namely distributed content and popularity. The resulting dataset is composed of the following five content-based sections: music services, web radios, web televisions, video services and videogames.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
This article shows the phases – and discusses the results – of an empirical analysis addressing the legal business models that are adopted online to distribute digital content. Although it premised upon the idea that these models would have been greatly affected by the strong protection that digital copyright law offers to rightholders, it concluded the opposite way. The ‘all rights reserved model’ that is tenaciously incentivized by the current legislative framework is, indeed, all but dominant: it is overcome by ‘open’ and ‘interactive’ models that take full advantage from the architecture of the online environment and from flexible forms of copyright licensing. More in general, the results of the empirical analysis show that the current legal framework does not considerably affect the models of distribution that are implemented in practice; rather, they are significantly influenced by many other factors, such as the technology used for making digital content available. Therefore, the article acknowledges how the current legal framework is inadequate and inconsistent with the business tools that entrepreneurs are employing and testing to better satisfy the demand. In order to show how the market diverges from the on line distribution model of digital content envisaged at legislative level, in the first section we give an account of the digital age turmoil and expectations, so to show how evidence about on line distribution of digital content is needed. This need is further confirmed by the literature review about distribution models for digital content that we after carried out in section 2. In sections 3 and 4 we describe the methodology followed and present the initial results obtained, which will be further analyzed in section 5 via a cluster analysis. In section 6 we comment and discuss those last so to illustrate, in section 7, our conclusions. We affirm that while the current legal framework, though biased towards a pre-determined solution for online distribution of digital content, has not inhibited the development of a kaleidoscopic market for online distribution, an enabling legal framework could foster it further and, by doing this, could favour the match between the demand and the supply of digital content.
Main Results of the Study
This study shows how legal, technological and economic features operate as ‘differentiating factors’ among the models of digital distribution. In other words, it answers the question on what are the key determinants of the models of online distribution and to what extend the choice of the copyright regime influences the model of distribution:
- The legal features do not represent the major differentiating factor among the identified archetypes. Technology and business, not law, are the key discriminating factor between models of distribution.
- While technology and business are powerful differentiating factors, the models for online distribution seem not to be significantly influenced by the digital content which is distributed. To a certain extent, the same or similar model could apply to the distribution of music, videogames – and, conversely, the same digital content could be distributed according to different legal and business models.
- The current legislative framework suggests a model that, initially, was supposed to be appealing for the business, as it enabled an enhanced control over the content distributed. Yet, entrepreneurs have developed a variety of business models which less and less coincide with what was suggested at the legislative level.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study concludes that the current legal framework does not answer to the needs and wants of consumers of digital content and that, on the contrary, they should be encompassed within a new and revised copyright law.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Websites|
|Period of material under study:||2010-2011|