Home > Business, English, Internet > The Fight for Data Rights

The Fight for Data Rights

Information, intellectual property, are all simply data in the ‘net. Today, Viacom (owner of MTV and Comedy Central) has sued YouTube with $1 billion in damages over repeated copyright infringements of their videos. So, they didn’t agree to some favorable deal and now they must go to courts. YouTube became who they are by allowing copyrighted videos to be placed in their sites. As I spoke a few days about freebase, there is currently the biggest fight for data in our history. This is an inevitable fight worth billions of dollars that will define our future Intellectual Property rights.

This fight strives in two main points. First, people want access to information for free. There is enormous intellect into this movement, and far more machine power behind it to make it happen. The use of automated systems in combination with an army of Internet surfers uploading copyrighted materials will drive the value of such materials down, while increasing the cost of such materials. Then, this becomes a matter of business basics. When the value of the copyrighted material is below its cost, there is no incentive in reproducing it. This can be the debacle of most forms of Intellectual Property.

Second, the current Intellectual Property law demands defensive action from copyright owners in order to protect their legal rights to such works. This forms the inevitable war between  copyright owners and illegal users of such material. Unless copyright owners want to donate their works to humanity, they must defend it. Businesses have built billionaire empires off of copyrights and will fight with their teeth to the end for those materials. When organizations like the RIAA take this fight to individuals, the outcome is easily predicted. However, in this case Viacom, market cap $27 billion, is taking the fight to a $140 billion gorilla called Google. In this case, the outcome might not be so predictable.

Categories: Business, English, Internet
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