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Digital Broadcasting

Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan

Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura

Digital television is transforming both broadcasting and, as a result of convergence, the larger world of communications. The impending analogue switch-off will have a major impact on households all over the developed world. Digital Broadcasting considers the effects of digital television on the availability, price and nature of broadcast services in the Americas, Europe and Japan. It shows how this depends upon what platforms – cable, satellite, fixed or wireless broadband – countries have available for use and also upon government policies and regulatory interventions.
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Chapter 10: Copy Control of Digital Broadcasting Content: An Economic Perspective

Koji Domon and Eulmoon Joo


Koji Domon and Eulmoon Joo INTRODUCTION While music, photography, and home-videos have been digitalized, the remaining phase of media digitalization is broadcasting. Even though the Internet and media digitalization have developed concurrently, we cannot discuss broadcasting digitalization without accounting for the influence of the Internet. One such issue, the concern of content suppliers, is copyright infringement by Peer-to-Peer (P2P) systems. Broadcasters have seen music labels damaged by such infringements, and have managed to protect their content from it. To prevent content from outflowing into P2P networks, they have introduced copy control of digital broadcasting content, so-called ‘Copy Once’ in Japan and ‘Broadcast Flag’ in the US. In this chapter, we shall consider, from an economic perspective, the copy control of digital broadcasting content and the resultant restrictions on personal use. In general, judgment of a copyright infringement is complicated. The concept of a copyright has a long history.1 A basic mistake we sometimes make is treating copyrighted content as physical goods such as a pencil. Intellectual property2 for the social welfare, including broadcasting content, has been treated differently from physical goods. Copying for personal use complicates this copyright issue. While photocopying and home video-recording make copying content free, content producers considered this copyright infringement at the time when such copy technologies had emerged. Legal judgment on this problem was that personal use of personally copied content was permissible with the US courts coining ‘fair use’ in dealing with the situation. The court decision was controversial since the...

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