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The major trends in the commerce of information –The major changes in the distribution and sale of books, movies, music, and software

Throughout history, various facets of economics have guided human societies.  Creators and businesses have formulated various ways and models of products in order to determine which produces the greatest economic gain.  Selling products and information these days is just as important as creating the products themselves. Media and culture have evolved enormously; it is hard to keep up with. Throughout the 20th century, the relationship between productivity and currency with technology paired with the enlarged global labor pool, cultivated a steady rise in productivity, secured declining labor costs. The business society has been given a right to automously own the copyright for any material they own, such as ebooks, software, movies, music and art. Which is a major issue against piracy. Piracy is a major issue affecting e-commerce, and the government has taken good steps to help commercial online business totally own their copyright. However, this paper examines the development, purpose, strengths and weaknesses of copyright and licensing issues. These issues are very important in order to ensure copyright owners have full protection over their materials and they can be rest assured that all copyright rules and licensing and regulations are strictly adhered to.

Intuitively, online technology has taken over and businesses must continually protect their company with consumer laws. Nowadays, since businesses have property rights, which is the property over their individual work. Which is definitely known as copyright. Copyright is society’s way of creating a legal mechanism that allows the producers of creative work to create revenue from consumers. “Copyright secures ‘the original works of authorship’ that are usually fixed in a substantial type of expression.” (Nancy 1). This materialization ultimately has an effect on all aspects of the economy. The Internet is a web of connection where each of us is like a neuron creating and receiving information.

Most copyrighted material is handed out in industries in the form of music, books, art, film, software and so on.  “Economists have identified two standard solutions to public good problems, where copyrights get mistreated. The two regulations are:

  • Either the government produces the socially desirable amount of the public good, or
  • Legal property rights are created to eliminate free riding by consumers, thus allowing producers to obtain adequate compensation for their work through market transactions.

If copyright law protects software, licenses of the software are contracts and thus governed by contract law. (Nancy)

In the social solution, the government must somehow determine the optimal. Because of these hard to regulate standards, the distribution sales of books, movies, and software were influenced significantly as well as an increase in piracy. (Coleman 2) Piracy seems to be a big issue in this industry in comparison to others. Ultimately, there has been a software-licensing dilemma.

With this entire quandary in play, we ask ourselves, should products be licensed or sold? The difference between the two is which regulatory regime governs, which defaults rules apply, and what rights and remedies are available to each party. “If software is sold and not licensed, the licensor’s ability to control unauthorized uses of its product is significantly curtailed; on the other hand, if software is licensed and not sold, the licensee’s rights under the agreement are unduly restricted.” The transaction being made here also affects the third party—such as retailers, distributors, and subsequent transfers. (Nancy)

A product is a sale if the transaction is governed by commercial law. Selling software is a legal minefield; you are selling a license that allows you to use the software, rather than purchasing a product with packaging. If software were sold, each individual would be able to do whatever he or she wanted with that product, whether it would be to distribute, or install the software anywhere, anything could be done that does not disobey copyright laws. (Nancy)

E-commerce technology is ubiquitous, as long as there is a computer around that is connected to the Internet. In all of these industries, digitization and the Internet have led to a hasty decline in distribution costs, as well as an enormous increase in piracy that has likely diminished the economic rewards afforded by copyright. (Nancy 3)  Not only does the Internet enable quick transactions of online material, but it is extremely hard to regulate.

Music is one of the top growing products available to the public. The first company ever that demonstrated their way of providing music and information to its customers and allowing them to post for free is a distribution called Napster. Napster provided its users with software that allowed user sharing to take place so easily to anyone that has access online.” Studies present that in “July 2000, nearly one in four adult internet users said they had downloaded music files, and most of them –(54%) had used the Napster network to do so” (Napster 6). Music is absolutely a top product distributed on the internet that is not easily controlled. Overall, the traditional use of music, buying albums has diminished. (Elon Journal)

Napster arose at the same time the computer was invented in 1999, which caused its clients to increase quickly. Over time, government action had to take place because this type of sharing is illegal..  Napster’s copyright owners allowed users to share music for free, Napster was shutdown quickly in 2001 for copyright issues. Overall Napster brought a sensation of bereavement to the music industry.

Although there are many downsides to the Internet and sales of media, there are also an abundant positive affects of this new technology. “Digitization and internet distribution have profoundly changed the underlying economic relationships in the music industry” (Coleman 6). Having access to the Internet provided easier access to finding talent, as well as lower cost rates. The Internet allows businesses to produce and distribute more rapidly, as well as promote their product.   “If the reduced talent search and recording costs were the only changes in the industry, there would still likely be more independent or smaller labels emerging.”(Coleman 10)

Movies are also a product of digital media that is distributed online. Digital Movies are being provided on the Internet through online stores such as Amazon and iTunes.The motion picture industry can be divided into four stages:

  • Production/financing;
  • Distribution/marketing;
  • Exhibition in movie theaters; and
  • post-theatrical release” (Coleman 17)

For movies and television, technology convergence has been disadvantaged by the reluctance of the industry to make its products available on a wide range of Internet able devices, largely because of concerns over piracy. Movie are more sold online rather than television. Although there are many ways to purchase digital media online, like books, television is more in its early stages.

Online e-books are still in the moderately early stages of development and are not yet a major factor in book distribution. The Content was sold through providing digital content, such as digital news, music, photos or video over the web.  Online software has not really had a huge effect on the selling of books. Although books began to evolve over time into e-books. This did not seem to have much of an impact.

When online marketing is being done, strategies to add value come in. Discounting comes into play with technology as well. Today we now purchase various applications on our tablets. Some of these applications offer a free trial. This free trial, offers the user to try out the applications. This can have many negative and positive feedbacks as well. By tailoring products in a package, where they can lower the cost completely, encourages the consumers to go after the product since they are ultimately getting a deal. Ultimately, it advertises your business, and could ultimately drive your inventory up.  One positive side to discounting high end products is that you ultimately drive in more buyers. When you give a free trial, more consumers are going to come to your product, but then the downside is, after a certain amount of time, your trial is up and to continue use, you must pay.  One negative aspect to bundling goods people do not always recognize— Deals not only hurt the consumer, but they can also hurt the brand. Sometime deals do not generate a repeat in customers. Another negative aspect in this area would be that deals are not as profitable as selling the goods individually.

Researches has shown that the current trend of e-commerce is becoming bigger in history and as the years roll by, consumers keep on demanding massively for digital properties. (Website Magazine) As a result, fostering user experience, improving personalization for everyone, also enhancing browsing and buying, and whichever demand any consumer needs can be purchased via any type of mobile device. This strategy of technology brings retailers and manufacturers so close to consumers and technology advancements are promoted on a daily basis.

Therefore, our society will continually cherish their technology and would constantly search the web for easier and faster ways to do things. The results, instant! Our society also values music and other media. The overall trend in sales of books, movies, music, and software changed drastically. Since Internet provided consumers with a quick way to search for an exact product they want online, the suppliers have to constantly come up with ways to drive more buyers in. Money is another thing people value greatly up there with music, this being said, businesses need to be smart and make their distribution of media user friendly. (Elon Journal)

Works Cited

Kim, Nancy. “The Software Licensing Dilemma.” California Western School of Law.

BYU L. REV. 1103, 2008. Web. 9 Sept. 2015. <http://scholarlycommons.law.cwsl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1088&context=fs>.

Stafford, Sadie A. “Music in the Digital Age: The Emergence of Digital Music and

Its Repercussions on the Music Industry.” The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 1.2 (2010). Print.

Madden, Mary. “The State of Music Online: Ten Years After Napster.” Pew Internet

& American Life Project (2009): 6. Pew Internet. Web. 25 Sept. 2015. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/9-The-State-of-Music-Online-Ten-Years-After-Napster.aspx

Bazelon, Coleman, and Lisa Cameron. The Impact of Digitization on Business

Models in Copyright-Driven Industries: A Review of the Economic Issues. 2013. 2, 6, 10, 17. Print.

“13 E-Commerce Trends for 2013 – ‘Net Features – Website Magazine.” 13 E-

Commerce Trends for 2013 – ‘Net Features – Website Magazine. 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. <http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2013/01/02/13-e-commerce-trends-for-2013.aspx>.

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