The unlimited potential of publishing in this digital era is only realized when consumers can easily find the works-of-art they seek and flexibly license those works for use on all current AND future computing devices. Improving content's discoverability and ensuring it can be securely used across multiple digital devices, SavoirSoft's micro-licensing shopping carts significantly increase opportunities for intellectual property owners to engage their consumers and expand their publishing success.
Currently, when owners of intellectual property (I.P.) wish to sell licenses and distribute digital versions of their works via the Web, they must contend with various digital content aggregators; the "Apples," "Amazons," and "Googles" of the world, for instance. These closed, often digital-rights-managed (DRM) systems with their proprietary computing formats, permit aggregators to regulate the use, and sometimes the pricing, of digital works-of-art. This usurps the I.P. owner's relationship with their consumers, resulting in the lion's share of value from, and control over, digital works-of-art taken from the works' creators and publishers by aggregators. And the aggregators' interests lie not for the benefit of I.P. owners and their patron consumers, but in the sale of advertising, proprietary software, and computing devices.
Fortunately for creators and publishers, the Web is evolving. The Social Web, often referred to as "Web 2.0," and the semantic web can now be leveraged collectively, providing lucrative ways for innovative I.P. owners to increase their publishing success by ensuring their works are easier to discover and license by their consumers.
The idea of using semantic technology on the Web is almost as old as the Web itself, but the concept has only begun to gain traction in the last several years. The semantic web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across applications, enterprises, and communities. It extends the network of hyper-linked, human-readable web pages by inserting machine-readable metadata about digital content and how it relates to other content. This enables automated agents to access the Web more intelligently and perform more tasks on behalf of Internet users. Learn more about the semantic web and JSON-LD here.
The Social Web is all about how Web sites, mobile applications and enterprise systems are designed to support and foster social interaction; the linking of people and groups. The Social Web expands the practicality and power of sharing, cooperation, and collaboration. Among the benefits: citizen journalism, product and service reviews, and collective curation. Now, imagine the value created by linking these attributes with the capabilities of the semantic web. The potential is truly staggering.
For instance, the value of the network effect increases exponentially when the publishing-to-consumer equation is simplified by removing content aggregators. Using semantic web methods; digital works-of-art, and their creators and publishers, are link to vast numbers of other works, creators, and publishers; all of which are accessible by the Social Web. Combined with micro-licensing shopping carts; not just eBooks, short-stories and text-books benefit; but scholastic journals, screen-plays, sheet-music, blueprints, technical drawings, magazines and newspapers can securely and more effectively monetize the Web's immense networking capabilities and massive distribution capacity, all while bypassing content aggregators. This helps creators and publishers engage their patron consumers and returns to them the value from, and control over, the digital works-of-art they contribute and offer to the world.
Years ago with its iPod product and iTunes Store, Apple established an entirely new music distribution platform and carved out a mostly virgin market so fast that it was able to wrest control of a digital-music distribution ecosystem and dictate what record labels, musicians, and composers could do. Sensing similar opportunities today, several companies are rapidly colonizing their own "publishing" ecosystems without regard to the owners and consumers of the digital works-of-art they look to exploit.
The motivations for the above are clearly economic. However, the reasons these opportunities can be exploited are due to the complexities of intellectual property rights licensing practices that are difficult to automate for digital content and make durable in courts of law. As a result, owners of intellectual property are forced into "gatekeeper models" -- licensing, marketing, and pricing schemes -- that control access to their consumers and restrict their digital publishing growth and success.
The challenges of applying traditional copyright law to the modern technologies of today's digital world was a catalyst for creating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The "anti-circumvention" provisions of the DMCA are intended to stop copyright pirates from defeating digital-rights-management (DRM) technologies and other content access or copy restrictions, and to ban the "black box" devices intended for that purpose. However, a consequence of DRM technologies and the DMCA is the undue advantage provided to the "Apples," "Amazons," and "Googles" of the world who own such technologies and who control access to digital works-of-art.
The repercussion, content aggregators of the world now realize the lion's share of value from distributing digital works-of-art, not the works' creators and publishers.
SavoirSoft's micro-licensing shopping carts returns this value back to its rightful owners. Our patented platform simplifies and automates the complex processing, managing, and tracking of I.P. rights licenses for literary, trade, and artistic works using robust intellectual property laws in addition to traditional copyright practices.
Each digitally distributed work is uniquely fingerprinted at the time of access to identify the consumer and the terms and conditions accepted for each work-of-art the consumer licenses. These unique, embedded, traceable, transaction ID's can be added to DRM systems or they can stand alone; providing "all rights reserved" copyright terms, "some rights reserved" I.P. licensing terms, or "more rights reserved" terms as well. This flexibility enables content owners to permit text-based works-of-art to be consumed physically even when they are distributed digitally. It also helps them develop "content-as-a-service" offerings, providing digital works-of-art with multiple pricing and licensing terms to best address consumers' needs and wants. For instance, the same content could be licensed for: 1) derivative permissions, AND 2) promotional duplication, AND 3) personal use only; all with different prices and usage terms, increasing its value not only for its owner, but for its consumers as well.
SavoirSoft's micro-licensing shopping carts helps creators and publishers free themselves of aggregators so they may safely, simply, and very lucratively leverage the Internet's vast networking capabilities and infinite distribution capacity for their own and their consumers' benefit.
When Apple approached Sony BMG, EMI, Universal, and Warner (the “Big-4”) to license their music for distribution over the Internet, the Big-4 were extremely cautious. They required Apple to protect their music from being illegally copied. Their concerns were understandable given the rampant piracy of music across the Web at the time. The solution to allay such concerns was to create a digital-rights-management (DRM) system. FairPlay is Apple’s DRM system, which envelops each song purchased from Apple’s iTunes store in special and secret software so that it cannot be played on unauthorized devices.
Years later in 2007, Apple’s CEO suggested abolishing DRM entirely. The reasoning was prophetic. As it has now been researched and discovered, DRM doesn’t work to control piracy, and in fact, may actually encourage it. Today, all four of the Big-4 provide digital music for distribution without digital-rights-management controls.
Unfortunately for publishers and creators of other forms of intellectual property, DRM still locks them in. Many content aggregators require creators and publishers of text-based works-of-art to use their proprietary DRM systems if these I.P. owners want their works distributed by the aggregator and consumed on the aggregator’s digital devices. It is to the aggregator’s business advantage because it ensures the sales of their digital devices and, more importantly, controls how creators and publishers have access to consumers. Consumers are the ultimate source of value to any business, so those who control such access, reap the rewards.
SavoirSoft’s micro-licensing platform restores I.P. owners’ access to their consumers, while providing many of the security benefits of digital-rights-management without the costs. High volume, low cost I.P. licensing is now possible without the use of controlling, proprietary DRM systems by simplifying and automating the complex processing, managing, and tracking of I.P. rights transactions. I.P. owners have recourse should their works be infringed by embedding unique, traceable fingerprints of the consumers and the terms and conditions they accepted for each work licensed into the work-of-art at the time of access. In addition, I.P. owners can distribute their works using non-proprietary, universal formats (ePub & PDF) that are usable by all types of digital devices. Providing computing device parity to all current and future technologies ensures I.P. owners have maximum consumer access and coverage, further expanding the value of these relationships.
It can now be imagined a world where every creator and publisher can license DRM-free, yet protected works-of-art encoded in open, universal computing formats; where any digital device can access those works licensed by consumers from any creator and publisher; and where all creators and publishers do not have to worry about licensing their works for use with specific operating systems or on proprietary digital devices. This is clearly the very best solution not just for creators and publishers, but for their patron consumers as well. In this world, publishing remains open to all.