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Technological advances and their potential impact on copyright law

Posted by Steve Vondran | Sep 08, 2023

Attorney Steve® Copyright Law Essentials -  Key issues affecting the future of copyright law in the United States!

global copyright policy


In recent years, copyright protection has been significantly impacted by technological improvements. To further comprehend, let's look at a few important points and issues.

1. Digital distribution has made it simpler to replicate and share creative works since the development of the internet and digital technology. As illicit copying and sharing of content protected by copyright has grown in popularity, this has presented difficulties for copyright holders. What impact do you anticipate the ubiquitous accessibility of digital content will have on copyright regulations? What specific actions do you believe need to be made to solve this problem, in your opinion?

Some of the main issues for copyright holders is people who use torrent clients to download movies, software, eBooks, photos, and other digital content.  For example, our firm is a leader in handling Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits.  This company alleges people download, typically 25-75 adult porno movies such as Tushy, Blacked, Vixen, Slayed, and others.  For "John Doe Defendants" this can mean THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in costly settlements.  Another important copyright holder is software companies. Due to illegal digital distribution of their software, end users are allowed to install expensive products (sometimes ranging $100,000 or more) such as Ansys, Siemens, Autodesk, Solidworks, Vero and others.  Software pirates are allegedly causing millions, and sometimes billions of dollars in losses to these types of companies.

2. Digital Rights Management (DRM): DRM technologies were created to prevent unlawful usage of copyrighted content. However, there has been discussion over its efficacy and influence on consumer rights. What do you think of DRM? Do you believe it impedes people's ability to access and use legally obtained content, or do you regard it as a useful measure to safeguard copyrights?

Software providers like Siemens, Dassault, and Autodesk utilize digital rights management (DRM) technology to safeguard copyrighted content and stop the illicit use and distribution of their products. To detect and respond to unlicensed usage, these systems often utilize a variety of internal mechanisms and procedures.

Some include license management software, usually referred to as license managers or license servers, within the program structure is one typical tactic. These license managers are in charge of confirming the legitimacy and veracity of the license key or file the user has supplied. Through contact with a central licensing server run by the software provider, they confirm the license's authenticity.  The DRM technology can start a "call home" or "phone home" process when an unauthorized software instance is found, which implies the software will automatically tell the software provider about the unlicensed use. Depending on the implementation, the precise information sent may vary, but it usually contains identifiers for the software instance, such as the version number, details about the computer hardware, and the exact license key or file being used.

This "call home" serves to inform the software provider of the unauthorized use so they can take the necessary action. Depending on the software provider's policy and local regulations, such responses could include warning the user or filing a lawsuit.  It's crucial to remember that DRM technology specifications might differ between software businesses and even between product lines within the same company. Each business might have its own special procedures and safeguards in place to safeguard its intellectual property.

3. User-generated Content: Individual content creation has increased dramatically as a result of the popularity of social media and venues for UGC. Discussions about fair use, transformative works, and how to strike a balance between copyright protection and freedom of expression have been ignited as a result of this. What should copyright law do about these new forms of artistic expression, in your opinion?

Here is one of my popular videos that talks about YouTube Fair Use Tips

4. Blockchain Technology: According to some experts, the use of immutable, transparent records of ownership and usage rights could revolutionize copyright protection. Do you have any knowledge of blockchain technology, and if so, do you believe it could be able to help with some of the issues related to copyright protection in the digital age?

I know of one example that I am hearing about.  Microsoft used to authorize the Business Software Alliance to conduct audits of companies accused of pirating Microsoft software products such as Windows, CAL licenses, and Office products, but since the pandemic, they have withdrawn that authorization apparently.  However, I have heard that they may be coming up with a new Blockchain privacy reporting tool that will allow whistleblowers to receive rewards for knarking out their bosses who infringe.  The product is called "Argus."  You can learn more about Argus by clicking on this image:

How Microsoft Argus Works

As you can see from the image above, this is a fairly complicated system that involves owners and licensees, informers and evidence.  It will be interesting to see how this new technology rolls out.

5. Global Perspectives: Because it is governed by international treaties and accords, copyright law is not just applicable in the United States. How can the fact that copyright law is a worldwide issue affect how it develops in the future? Do you believe there are any particular global trends or initiatives that may affect copyright protection in the United States?

It seems to me that the world may be moving to a more centralized governance.  If so, this may mean there are more copyright treaties among nations since copyrighted digital content can be sent from one side of the globe to the other in the click of a mouse.  More uniform rules might be needed to treat all copyright holders (and infringers) with similar rights and remedies.

For more information about Global Copyright Policy visit the Copyright Policy Institute founded by Steven C. Vondran, Esq.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

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