Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
6/23/2005 10:22:53 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Various Artists.
U.S. Supreme Court is set to make a decision regarding the legality of file sharing later this week.
A decision in the case of MGM vs. Gokster is expected to be announced in the next few days. The case focuses on the problems of illegal peer-to-peer file sharing of songs and video clips on the Internet. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a report suggesting that policymakers need to consider the benefits of file sharing. According to the OECD report, file sharing is on the verge of enjoying economic benefits.
Microsoft is presently working on its own file-sharing application dubbed Avalanche. Recently previewed by UK researchers in Cambridge at Microsoft's open day, the project is the company's take on peer-to-peer file sharing technology.
"Online technologies could evolve in a manner in which unauthorized use of copyrighted works are transformed into legitimate businesses," said OECD economist Sacha Vincent and a co-author of the new report on the digital music industry.
According to the report, online music sales are poised for a massive boost during the next couple of years –prompting the computer and entertainment industries to rethink the business models.
"The rise of online music sales has implications for a wide range of players, including artists, consumers, the record industry, and new digital intermediaries," stated the OECD report.
The report also said that there is "positive potential" for the new technologies. It also advised that governments should develop new policies that takes into account the interests of suppliers, consumers, provides protection for intellectual property rights, and makes it easier to distribute music and other content online. The report also said a third of all Internet users in OECD countries (including France, the U.S., the U.K., Germany and others) have downloaded files from peer-to-peer networks. The total reached 10 million users in November of last year.
The report contends that it's difficult to prove that illegal file sharing is mainly responsible for the 20% decline in music industry revenues from 1999 to 2003. "But digital piracy may be an important impediment to the success of legitimate online content markets," the OECD report reads.
Last year reportedly marked a "turning point" when a series of legitimate online music services launched and totaled up to 230 by that end of the year.
"It is mainly the record labels that generate direct revenues for the sale of online music over third party services," said the OECD report. "Online music providers currently face low or zero margins, calling into question wholesale and retail pricing."
Online music sales presently hold 2% of all sales. It is expected to climb to 8% by 2008.However, the report says that the growth of online file purchasing may result in the loss of access to lesser known artists.
"The ramifications of this issue are, at the polar extremes, technologies like TiVo and iPod disappearing," said attorney Daniel Fisher. "If liability were there for the makers of technology that could be used for file sharing, no manufacturer would make an iPod."
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