A Solution to the Napster Phenomenon: Why Value Cannot Be Created Absent the Transfer of Subjective Data

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Abstract

The efficacy of various copyright management systems will depend largely on keeping the “security” out of view from consumers while enabling clear responsibility to be attributed to the content being traded. Consumers have clearly rejected access restriction and registration protocols as currently deployed. The general failure of such systems is best represented by the widespread acceptance of Napster and the difficulty with implementations of digital rights management (“DRM”) systems on consumer PCs. Further, ignoring the historical notion of “fair use” and the “first sale doctrine” serves to obscure the value attributed to content. Success in commercializing the exchange of media content must focus on value in the media; the file format must be relegated to convenience.