A Solution to the Grokster Copyright Debate?

Contact for Interviews:    

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Richard Morrison, 202.331.2273

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Washington, D.C., March 29, 2005—The legal tactics used by entertainment companies to stop online file sharing of copyrighted material have been costly and ineffective.  A better solution is a new business model that uses new technologies, marketing strategies and pricing models so that content industries could better police the market and internalize copyright protection costs, according to a report issued today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. 


In the study Expanding the Market's Role in Advancing Intellectual Property, CEI Adjunct Analyst James Plummer demonstrates how dramatically the proliferation of Internet-related technologies and shifting consumer attitudes have made traditional pricing and rights enforcement models obsolete. In addition, Plummer argues that putting the cost of copyright protection entirely on law enforcement agencies unfairly burdens taxpayers.


“Content producers can use new technologies to offer differentiated products at differentiated prices to consumers showing different levels of interest in the work of particular artists. Such innovations should not be hampered by antitrust and other  government regulations,” writes Plummer. “One-size-fits-all mandates on critical  consumer technologies will stifle the growth of the intellectual property industry and indeed, of new forms of art. A wide array of hardware-software combinations to choose from would best serve copyright holders—artists and the content industries—and consumers.”


The debate over how digital content should be protected—as exemplified in the case of M.G.M. v. Groskter currently being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court—is vital in today’s diversified consumer culture and global marketplace. Copyright holders can adapt to this new world with fresh ideas or risk being left behind by consumers.