This book goes over the trends in multimedia that are pushing multimedia services into unprecidented technological formats. There is an in-depth analysis of the multimedia security technologies applied to digital data as prevention of copyright abuse or violation. These various copyright protection techniques inlude digital watermarking, steganography, fingerprinting and data hiding among others.
For the purpose of my project, the book discusses how the ease of communication of digital data is making it a globally accessible commodity. This is why positive internet video sharing service and televisions industry partnerships are being fostered. There is a growing demographic of interenet file-sharing service users who can be reached with multimedia entertainment. The future of these internet hosting / television industry busines partnerships is being forged out of the new technologies in digital data sharing.
Also of interest for my project is that the book also addresses the matter at the root of the uneasiness and friction between multimedia industries like the television companies and the internet video-sharing environment in general. That problem is arising from the polarized interests of intellectual rights owners and interntet end-users seeking free access to information.--"...The development of digital technologies permitting transmission of digital data over the internet has raised questions about how these rights apply in the new environment. How can digital intellectual property be made publicly available while guaranteeing ownership of the intellectual rights by the rights-holder and free access to information by the user?" (3).
- Lu,Chun-Shien. Multimedia Security: Steganography and Digital Watermarking Techniques for Protection of Intellectual Property. Hersey: Idea Group Inc., 2005
While this appears to be a fairly innocuous article about the future of user generated content and the marketing that companies are putting into attracting consumers to create their own video content, there are many insidious implications in this piece. For one, the article mentions how YouTube will soon be providing “branded channels,” which are essentially user generated video channels that are intended to attract consumers by allowing them to create advertisements for a certain company. Companies see this interactive opportunity as a great way to raise “brand loyalty.” Also, the article mentions the six “sample commercials” that CBS created, which are intended to “be as close to authentic” as possible. Authenticity, then, simply becomes something that can be created and produced by companies like CBS. Finally, the article mentions how CBS will be screening every video submitted “for language and appropriateness of content.” The article assures the reader, though, that CBS will “preserve their [the videos] reality and spontaneity.” There are many troubling things about this form of tacit (sort of) censorship, one being that CBS is now the arbiter of what is and is not “appropriate.” Also, the notion that “reality and spontaneity” need to be screened for is blatantly contradictory, but ultimately very telling about this so-called democratizing force known as user generated content. Read this article with skepticism and ire (i.e. critically), though, and it can be very illuminating. For this reason I think it can be useful for my project that deals with exactly what this article addresses (although approaches it from a much different perspective).
tagged Advertising Amateur_Video Copyright_Law Digita Digital Digital_Distribution Digital_Technology Disruptive_Technology Google Hollywood Internet_Culture Marketing Media Movie_Theatres Participatory_Culture User_Generated_Content Video_Rental YouTube by blueher ...on 08-MAR-07
The thesis of this article is that for the major recording labels to stay atop the music industry, they will have to embrace both technological and creative risks.
They will need to find ways to reach more users via the internet. Until recently, recording companies have viewed the internet as the enemy rather than an opportunity. They have gone with the strategy of litigating the fans that use peer to peer networks instead of finding a sustainable business model that will put their content online. As a result, sales decreased by a fifth between 1999 and 2003.
More recently, however, the recording industry has made inroads to accepting that the internet and digital technology will shape the music industry’s future. Apple’s iTunes service proved to music executives that the legal download market is viable. With this realization, recording companies are trying to figure out how to change their business model to take advantage of the internet.
Another problem which is just as important as piracy is the recording companies’ inability to develop new artists into strong sustainable brand names. The emphasis on one hit wonders is also to blame for the decline in CD sales. In fact, an internal report at one of the major recording studios found that between 2/3 and ¾ of the decline in CD sales was unrelated to online piracy. By embracing the internet, which bypasses more conservative retailers, the recording companies could gain the confidence to support new, innovative music.
Additionally, when an online business model unfolds, higher quality artists will be more profitable. Currently people buy single tracks much more often than whole albums. However, it is in the recording studios interest for users to spend 12$ on a whole album from one artist than to buy 2 songs from 6 different artists.
Importance to Thesis:
This article is important to my thesis in that it helps highlight the strategic mistakes that recording companies are repeating in response to peer-to-peer networks. Music companies are exaggerating the threat of P2P networks, just as movie studios exaggerated the threat of the VCR. In fact, the majority of the recent decline in CD sales is due to factors other than online piracy. In addition, recording companies ignored the new markets that they could reach through online distribution, just as movie studios neglected to see that the VCR would expand their viewer base. This article thus helps draw two parallels between the VCR and P2P networks, and allows me to apply historical lessons to the current situation facing recording companies.
This article explains the current dominance that Apple exerts on our digital music experience and how it could potentially become the epicenter of media consumption. Currently, it is impossible to download, organize and listen to music without iTunes. Furthermore, iTunes has created a “network effect” whereby its immense popularity spurs demand for other artists and advertisers to be on iTunes as well. iTunes is thus cemented as the face of our interaction with digital music. This same relationship could soon exist with video media if Apple gets access to Disney’s large library of movies and TV shows. One analyst forecasts that the iPod will become a “Tivo and a music player that you can take anywhere.”
This scenario, however, may be further down the road. Hollywood still opposes distributing copyrighted material over the internet. Additionally, being the epicenter of digital media consumption is not “itself a business right now.” In the future, Apple may find a way to turn this large audience into advertising revenue, and thus a legitimate profitable business.
Importance to Thesis:
This article is relevant to my third argument, which is that Apple represents the way media companies should react and adapt to changing technologies. Apple, through its iTunes and iPod, took advantage of the changing methods of media consumption. By anticipating that consumers would need both a device to play their music, and an interface that makes dealing with a large library manageable, Apple made itself the name brand associated with digital music. The dominant position both iTunes and the iPod enjoy is a testament to this foresight. Furthermore, the position Apple is putting itself in with regards to video media is a repetition of Apple’s ability to see how peer-to-peer technology has changed the competitive landscape for media consumption. In contrast to media companies who fight to save the status quo, Apple has placed itself where a business does not even exist, but when it does, Apple stands to benefit enormously.
In this case, a number of different record companies came together to sue Napster. Their claim was that Napster’s peer-to-peer file sharing service was liable for “contributory and vicarious” copyright infringement. The district court ruled in favor of the recording studios and issued a preliminary injunction against Napster. Napster had to police its servers and remove all copyright infringing material. The district court monitored Napster’s progress and after three months, determined that Napster was not satisfactorily complying with the injunction. Then, the district court required Napster to shut off its peer-to-peer servers until it met certain conditions.
The recording companies argued that Napster should have to search for and block all files that infringed on copyrighted material. They transferred responsibility for locating infringing files to Napster. However, Napster argued that this modification to the injunction was vague with respect to how Napster should monitor its servers.
The court ruled with the district court and affirmed the decision to shut Napster down unless it could abide by the modified injunction.
Importance to Thesis:
This case is important to my thesis because it helps develop my second argument, which is that recording companies today are making the same strategic mistakes that movie studios made in response to the VCR. The first mistake they are repeating is that they are acting as an industry, not as individual companies. It is evident from the fact that five separate lawsuits were consolidated into this case that all the recording companies decided to deal with the peer-to-peer threat the same way; namely, litigiously. The second mistake they are repeating is focusing narrow mindedly on the current perceived threat without considering how this new technology may change the competitive landscape. By modifying the injunction such that Napster must police itself, the recording studios purposefully made it impossible for Napster to comply, which led to its eventual closure. This indicates that the recording studios strategy was to eradicate peer-to-peer networks entirely.