The erosion of ownership in the digital age

moss

When you buy a book from the store, no one doubts that you own it completely. You can take it home, write in its margins, lend it to a friend or turn around resell it to a used bookstore.

But what about a digital version of that same book? Or what of other digital goods, like video games, movies and music? In recent years, many consumers has switched from purchasing physical copies of media to downloading digital equivalents. Others have given up on the ownership model altogether — instead relying on subscription services like Netflix or Pandora. For example, U.S. music-streaming revenues now exceed digital downloads or physical sales.

The R Street Institute recently hosted a panel of experts at its Washington headquarters to discuss these and related issues, featuring Aaron Perzanowski of Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Jason Schultz of New York University School of Law; Todd Dupler of The Recording Academy; Jonathan Band of Policy Bandwidth; Steven Tepp of Sentinel Worldwide; and R Street’s Sasha Moss, who served as moderator. Video of the full panel is embedded below.

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