• Sophie Boudet-Dalbin

    Docteur en sciences de l'information et de la communication (SIC) de l'Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, je travaille sur la distribution des contenus numériques.

    Ma recherche doctorale, pluridisciplinaire, est une étude prospective qui vise à trouver des solutions concrètes pour la distribution des films par Internet, en mesure de dépasser les stéréotypes et de réconcilier les motivations et contraintes des divers acteurs économiques, créateurs, publics internautes et entités nationales.

    Doctor in Information and Communication Sciences at the University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, I focus on digital content distribution.

    My PhD, multidisciplinary, aimes at finding concrete solutions for digital distribution of films, that would outreach stereotypes as well as reconcile the motivations and constraints of the various economic actors, creators, audience, Internet users and national entities.

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    Copyright, YouTube & DRM – Experts Speaking

    While being a visiting scholar at the New York University, I could broaden my research on the online film distribution in the US. I also had the great opportunity to meet experts, who I usually read and with whom I could talk and exchange points of view.

    Recently, I interviewed two professors specialized in copyright. Their opposing visions about the copyright's essence and future is of great interest. First, Jane Ginsburg, professor of literary and artistic property law at the Columbia University School of Law. As a jurist, she is in favor of the authors' right. Then, Siva Vadhyanathan, author of « Copyrights and Copywrongs », journalist and professor at New York University. As a copyright specialist, however not a jurist, he is in favor of the consumers' right.

    About the Viacom lawsuit against YouTube for massive copyright infringement, Jane Ginsburg just reads the copyright act. In legal terms the suit relies on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), which made it illegal to deploy technology intended to circumvent legitimate copyrights. But the law included a so-called « safe harbor » provision, which indemnified some kinds of Internet companies if they immediately blocked or removed such content when a copyright holder
    informed them it was there.

    But the safe harbor does apply only for service providers, defined in Sub-section k, Paragraph 512, of the DMCA, as « an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications (…) ». Then YouTube would like to attract the attention on the safe harbor and make us forget that it applies only to service providers, which it is not at all. For Siva Vadhyanathan, YouTube can absolutely be considered as a service provider. Thus, he believes YouTube-Google could prevail in the case.

    About the hypothetical future of online film distribution without DRM, like what is happening in the music industry, Jane Ginsburg reminds us that there have been two different kind of DRMs: on streaming and on downloading. DRMs on streaming are essential and will remain as such. Concerning the distribution with DRM on downloading (which limits the number of terminals allowed to read the file), Jane Ginsburg underlines the fact that it still exists since one can download a song for $0.99 with DRM or $1.29 without DRM. The selling without DRM will then have to prove its worth.

    For Siva Vadhyanathan, DRMs are less a protection against copy but more a protection for a certain control over the market. According to him, it is essential for the industry to distribute films without DRM in order to allow the public to remix. The better satisfied the consumers are about a service, the more likely they are to use it, and the more clients the industry gets. A resolutely consumer-friendly vision!

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