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Copyright in digital media - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 1 May 2013 Copyright in Digital Media: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives to Existing Copyright Laws Before the advent of computers, mobile communications, the Internet, and digital media copying tools, copyright issues were much simpler. Copyright law is based on the Constitution, a product of the Founding Fathers’ concern for private intellectual property…
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Copyright in digital media

The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) embodies the legislative shift from treating various products as public resources to seeing them as corporate assets (Wright 83). DMCA was designed to give corporate content producers, “global protection from piracy in a digital age” (Wright 83). Different viewpoints on the ideology and goals of copyright laws are embedded in the history of copyright protection. Some support it for the interest of owners and publishers/producers, others oppose it because it breaches the First Amendment and lacks consideration for diverse stakeholders, while several people offer alterative ideologies and licensing solutions. For Tighter Regulations and Implementation of Copyright in Digital Media Chloe Albanesius writes for PC Magazine and she reports an example of implementation of copyright laws in the Internet. She describes the agreement between ISPs and content companies: “Do you subscribe to HBO or did you illegally download [a TV episode]? If it's the latter, you might find yourself in receipt of a warning from your ISP, thanks to a new agreement between Hollywood studios and service providers.” She notes that ISPs and media firms believe that with the help of one another, they can stop illegal sharing online. Furthermore, Albanesius illustrates how their collaboration works through the “Copyright Alert System.” Several warning stages are present in this system: Going forward, users will get a notice if they are suspected of illegal downloading. If they ignore that message, the ISP might resort to pop-ups or redirecting to special Web sites that display the alert. If those too are ignored, the ISP will turn to “mitigation measures,” which could include throttling or permanent re-direction to a warning landing page until contact is established. (Albanesius) The system aims to protect copyright through several security layers. Albanesius depicts how ISPs and content owners work together for a tighter implementation of copyright laws. The strengths of Albanesius’ article are her specific example of copyright implementation and the description of the role of ISPs in copyright law, while its main weakness is not interviewing Internet consumers and their reactions to the “Copyright Alert System.” Albanesius provides a specific example of copyright implementation, which concretizes the actions that the government and ISPs are taking to protect copyright owners. By describing how “Copyright Alert System” works, including its limitations, she fully explains it to Internet users. Moreover, Albanesius illustrates the role of ISPs in copyright law. ISPs have a large role to play in ensuring that copyright law is applied in the digital sphere (Albanesius). Their support is critical to the effectiveness of these laws (Albanesius). Despite these strengths, Albanesius does not interview other stakeholders. Her article does not have interviews with Internet consumers, and so readers will not know their reactions to the “Copyright Alert System.” Readers will not know how users, especially those involved in accessing P2P sharing websites, feel about this system. Without user feedback, it will be hard to know if they follow copyright laws or not. Albanesius’s article enlightened readers about the actual implementation of ... Read More
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