Peer-to-Peer networking technology and related innovations have had a major impact on the music and motion picture industries. While digital technology has improved the quality of audio and video recordings and decreased distribution costs, it has also made unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material and its transmission over the Internet easier. The media industry attributes an erosion of its sales after 1999 to the illegal copying and sharing of digital files and has taken steps to tighten copyright laws and prosecute violators. Others attribute the downturn to a lack of innovative products and futile efforts by the industry to retain a business model made obsolete by technological innovation. In the meantime, unauthorized file-sharing via Peer-to-Peer networks continues unabated and its real financial impact on the industry remains unclear. The market perceives illegal file-sharing to be a significant threat to the long-term profitability of the media industry and regards current legal initiatives to protect its intellectual capital as beneficial. This article discusses several strategies and business models that the media industry may consider to respond to the current threat and better cater to changing customer tastes.
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