Friday, August 04, 2006

Digital Media Exchange

Is Harvard's Digital Media Exchange The Solution To Online Piracy In China?

Kristin Eliasberg wrote the interesting article 'Digital pathways to Asia' for the Havard Law bulletin. He's focusing on the research of the Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society on the Chinese infringements of copyright and censorship.

Professor William Alford's book 'To Steal A Book Is An Elegant Offense' published in 1995 was discussed and a possible solution to online piracy in China called Digital Media Exchange (DMX).

DMX is part of the Berkman Center’s Digital Media Project and Digital Media in Asia is part of the Digital Media Project.

It's a "file-sharing cooperative which, for a nominal fee, would give consumers “all-you-can-eat” access to digital entertainment files while providing for compensation of content-creators on a per-usage basis. The DMX, originally proposed by Professor Terry Fisher ’82 in his book “Promises to Keep,” evolved into a possible Chinese pilot program when then graduate student Eric Priest LL.M. ’05 pointed out its promise for a culture like China’s. Priest, who had worked in the Chinese music industry and is now a fellow at the Berkman Center, helped organize meetings on DMX with Fisher, Berkman Fellow and York University Adjunct Professor Paul Hoffert, various representatives from the Chinese entertainment and IT industries, and government officials in Beijing."

Priest has high hopes for DMX. He gives the following reasons:

  • The severity of the problem;
  • Growing sensitivity to IP issues for Chinese companies and the government (because of growing pressure on Chinese companies and China's central and local governements: IP Dragon);
  • "Internet service providers and universities are beginning to worry about being held liable for the widespread copyright infringement on their networks";
  • "Major record companies that are reluctant to provide content to a DMX system in the U.S. may be less reluctant to do so in China, because they simply don’t have a viable alternative business model in China.

Read Kristin Eliasberg's article here.

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