071010 ecrea towards a political economy of the internet van audenhove leo ppt

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  • 1. Towards a political economy of the Internet Control over space, time, speed, quality and access on the Internet. An analysis of mechanisms and instruments. Leo Van Audenhove (IBBT-SMIT) John Vanhoucke (Telindus) Luciano Morganti (IBBT-SMIT)
  • 2. Overview  Introduction  Cultural industry (audiovisual)  Current position on digitalization  Current business models - versioning  Regulation: definition and reasoning  Controlling what, why, with what mechanisms and instruments?  Space - who can access content from where  Time - who can access content when  Speed - who can access at what speed  Quality - who can access what quality  Access - who can access what content  Relations between regulation and self-regulation 2
  • 3. Introduction: Audiovisual industries  Current position on digitalization  Fear of piracy in a real broadband era  Do not want to go same road as music industry  Play active role in debate on protection  New possibilities through digitalization  HDTV, video-on-demand, long tail, etc.  Existing business models  Music industry  Limited amount of channels same time  For majors already global market  Video market  Based on ‘repurposing’ or versioning of content  On different platforms and media  Within different geographies  Much of work based on experience music industry 3
  • 4. Introduction: Audiovisual industries  Main question  Are we evolving towards global market?  Are we staying within national and regional markets?  Hypothesis:  Content industry will try to protect existing Business Models  In what way with what effect?  How will existing power relations change?  What is the interplay with other actors  Electronics industry  Internet industry players: Google, Overture, etc.  Telco and ISP industry 4
  • 5. Regulation  Definition  Start from a broad definition of regulation  Formal regulation:  codified rules endorsed by law  Self regulation:  norms, habits and practices influencing behavior and structures but not codified  Hypothesis  Self regulation plays an important role in Internet governance  Instruments to ‘govern’ content distribution and protect BM  Being developed  DRM, encryption, etc.  Already in place  DRM, GeoIP, CDN, Identity Management, etc.  Not all of these supported by formal regulation 5
  • 6. Control over Space  Two specific characteristics of business models  Dependent on versioning of content in time  Sequentially introduced:  theatre, airplane, pay-per-view, etc.  Sold in different geographic spaces at different times  especially TV productions  Instruments of control  GeoIP, personal and financial information 6
  • 7. Control over Space: GeoIP  GeoIP  Information about users  location (nation, region, city) 98% accuracy at national level  ISP, network connection, speed, etc.  Based on IP address  Information about infrastructure, distribution of IP  Information from sites who ask users addresses  Information from partnering ISPs  Often used to  Control fraud  Use in marketing  Control access to content geographically  New GeoIP can control for IP circumvention/anonimizers 7
  • 8. Control over Space: GeoIP Example  BBC iPlayer  Access to on demand content of TV broadcasts  Restricted to the UK by GeoIP  Reason License Fee  Channel 4 4oD  Restricted to GB and Ireland by GeoIP  Movielink  US based movie site Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros  First legal store for movies  Restricted to the US by GeoIP 8
  • 9. Control over Space: Financial and personal info  Financial / Personal information  iTunes restricts access on basis of personal and bank card info  More restrictive then GeoIP  European accessing from local US computer no access  No access to certain music and video  TV series not yet scheduled outside US  Movies not yet released on other media  Reason ‘repurposing’ and ‘versioning’ strategies  Dualspeak on copyright and DRM  According to Jobs not applicable to music  No word in text on visual content 9
  • 10. Control over Time  Related to control over space  GeoIP and personal/banking information allow windowing  Audiovisual industries interested to limit access to content in time  To prevent copying and distribution over the Internet  To use price discrimination for its products  To saveguard existing business models  DRM main instrument  Access control mechanisms (software and technical)  BM Music industry and audiovisual again often different  Music once purchased (mostly) unlimited use in time  TV and Movies limited time to use  E.g. Cinema and DVD - two time for same product 10
  • 11. Control over Time: BBC iPlayer - Movielink  BBC iPlayer  Access to content 7 days after broadcasting  Remains on disk of user for 30 days  Once started viewing 24 hours to view  Uses Windows DRM  Many complaints that service under TV license fee  Should be open to all systems  Only accessible in Britain (Channel 4 similar service)  Movielink  Difference between rental and purchase  Rental: 30 days, once started 24 hours - Price in line with DVD rental  Purchase: infinate use (on 1 to 3 devices) - Price close to DVD purchase  Only accessible to US  Both services go beyond fair use (no possibility to have own copy)  Protection through copyright law and contract law 11
  • 12. Control over Speed/Quality  Not the same  Gaming versus streaming put different requirements on network  Related and taken together here  Internet made out of different independently managed networks  Agreements exist between ISPs to connect networks  People tend to forget that content providers and ISPs  Are constrained by the underlying biases in infrastructure  Can make choices which affect speed and quality  Control over network  Only partly influenced by content industry  Mainly domain of ISPs and Telcos  In process of better controling speed over networks  Brings up whole discussion of ‘net neutrality’  Fast lane and slow lane on the Internet 12
  • 13. Control over Speed/Quality: Instruments  Content Delivery Networks  Akamai, etc. have large servers all over the world  Brings content closer to the edges of the network  Large players host their content with international CDNs  Gives them faster access to consumers  Gives them some control over quality of their services  Peering Agreements  ISPs interconnects to other networks on the Internet  80% of peering agreements with private partners  SLAs between parties define quality of service  Technological tendency  To be able to control speed and quality of content  To differentiate between content e.g. Prioritization of video 13
  • 14. Control over access  ISP can filter information and sites from their networks  Used by authoritarian states to filter content  Used by Western states to filter harmful content  Might in future be used to filter sites  Whole debate on Net Neutrality  Threath of ISPs in Brittain with BBC iPlayer  ISPs fear that iPlayer traffic would clog their networks  Threaten to block BBC iPlayer traffic unless BBC contributes  Instruments  Filters  Walled Gardens  Net neutrality 14
  • 15. Regulation and self-regulation  Regulation  Legal environment is changing and will be different for video than for audio  Slow globalization of copyright law - but stronger in centre  Millenium Copyright Act in US  EU Copyright Directive  Take into account transition to digital environment  Much more restrictive  Bias to strong protection of copyrights holders  Copy and access control technology supported by law  Self-regulation  Although certain globalisation of copyright law  Remains to be seen whether audiovisual industry is going global  Control over time and space used to sustain existing business models  Better control over speed/quality and access might strengthen this 15
  • 16. Question Citizen is becoming a global citizen? Costumer is put back in the box of the nation state? 16