While technological advancement has meant that films and music, for example, can reach wider audiences much more easily, it has also meant that the traditional sources of revenue are declining. Technology has also made it possible to produce films and music at a lower cost, thus allowing for a significant “democratisation of creation”, according to Javier Martínez Bavière, partner at Pedro Alemán Abogados.
One of the major problems facing media companies is that the reduction in production and distribution costs does not result in higher profits because the industry has not found ways to effectively capture the potential revenues for making their content available through the new distribution channels. “The record industry, for instance, tried to find its way in taking a slice of other sources of income, like artist management, live events and sponsorship. Instead, it should change its perspective on technology, and start seeing it as the solution, rather than a threat, to make their product profitable.”
Martínez Bavière, Pedro Alemán Abogados, believes that creation and technology need to converge in order to develop new revenue streams.
“Operating in a digital world makes it a challenge for content providers to protect their IP,” he remarks. “But the key to success is an adequate understanding of the new environment and cooperation with Internet companies and the new distribution channels.”
Martínez Bavière says IP lawyers need to be able to help their clients not only to “protect their creations” but also to develop strategies for developing new business opportunities. Media companies and IP lawyers need to stop looking at the internet only as a threat. The media and the internet need to co-exist and “act as allies rather than enemies”, he concludes. The new trends require IP Lawyers to understand, be open to accept, and become familiar with a whole range of new business practices and contracting standards.