Sunday, November 07, 2004

INDICARE Article Flow

Out for some time, still worth the read: INDICARE Monitor, Volume 1, No. 4. Take your pick from this fresh flow, all available at www.indicare.org:
  • Mobile music is hot
  • Abstract: The first INDICARE workshop on “Business Models for Mobile Music and DRM”, took place in Berlin on September 30, 2004. There was huge interest in the event, which indicates that mobile music is currently an important topic in the industry. The workshop provided some interesting insights into the role of DRM and business model issues for the development of the mobile music market and into the understanding of consumer wants and needs by industry players.
  • Net music the Danish way: Locked down and easily cracked
  • Abstract: The ambitious Danish project Netmusik, which intends to make music available online for users of public Danish Libraries was launched September on 1st, 2004. However a week after the launch it was discovered, that the Digital Rights Management system could easily be circumvented. More importantly in the wake of that breach both the Danish Consumer Council and politicians expressed concerns regarding the chosen technical solution. It was criticised for being biased and leaving consumers with no choice.
  • Was it ever a right?
  • Abstract: The right to private copy has recently been denied in two court cases initiated by the music industry. In both cases, the consumer believed he had the right to this copy which is at least suggested by the acknowledgement of similar rights related to computer software. The article examines information to consumers provided with respect to their rights on record labels. Copying has only really become an issue since the widespread availability of suitable devices. Even then, it has at times been tolerated and only seriously been prosecuted when the economic health of the industry has waned. More systematic research is needed to explore the hypotheses based on visual evidence.
  • In search of Greg Koch
  • Abstract: This is a personal exploration of the online music service iTunes and some of its digital and tangible competitors. It deals mainly with the up-to-dateness and variety of products offered, in principal one of the key benefits of online music stores. The conclusion is, that iTunes is not as good as it could or should be, and in this case the surprising winner is a local branch of a big German media chain. These results are based on personal experiences. But a comprehensive test, done by German consumer journal “Test”, confirmed them quite well.
  • Approaching the DRM needs of the educational system in the UK
  • Abstract: DRM issues are increasingly reaching attention in the educational system and decision makers have started thinking about the strategy to adopt. In the UK the study carried out by Intrallect on behalf of the Joint Information Systems Committee is an interesting piece in this process. We will briefly describe the structure of the report and its main assumptions before we turn to the "use case methodology" applied to gain insights into the goals and actions of the different stakeholders in the educational sector - independent of technology matters. Knowing what people want is then the basis to define what the technical requirements are – in this case of DRM systems for the educational system. We regard the approach as very interesting, do however have mixed feelings with respect to the presentation of the outcome.
  • The music came to Berlin: Popkomm 2004
  • Abstract: The Popkomm music fair took place in Berlin this year from September 29 to October 1. In previous years, the ailing music industry had used the Popkomm to whine about decreasing music sales and to blame Internet piracy for its bad health. Which direction did the discussion about consumer’s acceptance of DRM, standardization, privacy concerns or DRM-related legal developments take at this year’s Popkomm? This article gives a summary of the discussions.
  • DRM and music: How do rights affect the download price?
  • Abstract: The aim of this article is to better understand the business models of online music providers by specifically focusing on the factors determining the download price for music and the role of rights in the price determination. For that purpose an empirical study was conducted. The results show that there is a huge price range for music downloads. Furthermore, the authors developed a regression model which can explain 88% of the download price. The study also shows that the downloading price is not only impacted by user rights such as the right to copy, burn and move to portable players, but also by other factors, such as the market segment of consumers in terms of geographical location or the music label of the song. Finally, the article provides possible indications for the success of iTunes, the most known and successful music provider so far.
  • Who protects the un-protected?
  • Abstract: Increasingly copies of journal articles and other academic content are made freely-available on the Web under an open access publication model. The benefits to readers, to authors and to society from toll-free access to research publications are being realised. Protection measures are still required to prevent abuse of authors’ rights through plagiarism or un-authorised changes to the content, even though such abuse may only occur infrequently.
  • It’ s not a right, silly!
  • Abstract: Not all consumers are willing to accept DRMs. This article tells the story of two consumers who were not, and who went before the courts to claim what they thought was their good right - the "right to private copying". It tells the story of their cruel awakening, and why it had to come like this.

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