Young Copycats Worry Entertainment Industry

This survey provides statistics on how age groups recognize the value of entertainment-based intellectual property: Young Copycats Worry Entertainment Industry

But in the era of mashups, where does the value of entertainment-based intellectual property really lie?

For the longest time, the true economic value has not really been fully vested or returned to the creator. Let’s look at Hollywood briefly. How many movies show a loss for accounting purposes, yet the industry continues to thrive?

Quite simply, money changes hands, and not-quite-so-simply, there are sources and sinks for that money. They are not necessarily the same places, and they are not necessarily all that related to the creator (or ostensible “owner”) of the content.

In fact, the finance, distribution, and exhibition arms add value and maybe even create value for content. More on this topic as we go along.

In the mean time, I would love to hear about your technology companies that are facing issues of managing and maximizing the value of content. What assumptions do you have – that the content is completed by the creator never to be used or changed, or perhaps that it is incomplete and possibly even designed to be incopoprated into something bigger for everyone’s economic gain?

Send thoughts and comments to: disruptive (at)

August 16, 2006

“Hey, it’s OK. I’m just burning a few songs for my girlfriend.”

As far as lawyers for the music and film industries are concerned, copying a CD or DVD for even one friend, even if you purchased it and paid full price, violates the federal copyright code — and it is a crime. Young users do not agree.

“I think you’re allowed to make, like, two or three copies of a CD you bought and give them to friends,” 15-year-old Evan Collins told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s only once you make five copies, or copy a CD of stolen music, that it’s illegal.”

A poll recently conducted by the LA Times and Bloomberg found that the majority of teenagers and young adults, both male and female, up to the age of 24, believe that while copying stolen music or movies is a crime, copying purchased CDs or DVDs is not.

These young consumers know that downloading free music and movies from unauthorized sites is illegal. They know buying bootlegged CDs and DVDs is wrong, too. But, according to the survey, 60% to 70% of them think it is perfectly all right to burn discs for or from friends, as long as the discs were legitimately purchased.

For instance, the results of the poll implied that 69% of teens ages 12 to 17 believe it is legal to copy a CD from a friend who purchased the original, but only 21% feel it is legal to copy a CD if a friend obtained the music for free. Similarly, 58% think it is legal to copy a DVD or videotape that a friend purchased, but only 19% think copying is legal if the material wasn’t legitimately bought.

In another study, earlier this year, Harris Interactive found that illegal downloading of music, movies, games and software by young users was trending downward.

In the LA Times article, RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol said, “We still confront a significant challenge educating kids that copying a CD for a friend is also a crime. This is a major focus for the entire industry.”

No matter how hard the industries try to convince kids, teens and young adults not to copy, for now, many tech-savvy youngsters are happy to be copycats.

For more on young Internet users, read the eMarketer report Digital Rights Management: Finding the Balance.

Leave a comment