The Need for Stronger Ownership Rights in Digital Media

Charlotte Martin

Updated Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 12:12 PM CDT

The Need for Stronger Ownership Rights in Digital Media

The Importance of Physical Keys in Digital Purchases

In today's digital age, where video games, songs, and movies are predominantly purchased and consumed online, it is crucial to ensure that consumers have strong ownership rights over their digital media. One way to achieve this is by backing digital purchases with physical keys that cannot be deleted or revoked, even if the account is deleted or banned.

The concept of physical keys for digital media is simple yet powerful. Just as one can share a physical disk with others, the ability to transfer media should be as easy as allowing the transfer and inputting the key. This would provide a seamless experience for users and eliminate the hassle of account restrictions or limitations.

Currently, many digital media purchases are treated as rentals rather than property. This means that consumers do not have full control over their purchases and can potentially lose access to their content. By considering game purchases and other digital media purchases as property, consumers would be protected under property laws, ensuring their rights are upheld.

Moreover, consumers should have the right to sell their digital media in a second-hand market or use it in any way they desire. Non-fungible t***ns (NFTs) can play a crucial role in issuing ownership of digital assets. NFTs ensure that nobody can take, cancel, or revoke the ownership, providing a secure and permanent ownership system for digital media.

NFTs also offer the ability to sell, trade, or transfer digital assets as the owner sees fit. This opens up new possibilities for consumers to fully utilize their digital media and have control over their purchases. Additionally, licensing of digital objects should include fair-use rights such as transferring to new owners, making personal backups, and transferring to different media for personal use.

However, the current copyright laws and licensing practices heavily favor intellectual property owners over public interests. Lobbyists representing intellectual property owners have influenced copyright laws, resulting in longer copyright durations and limited public interests. To bring about meaningful change, amendments to copyright laws and digital ownership rights may require an act of Congress.

The limitations of the current system are evident in platforms like iTunes, where purchased songs are removed from devices until they are played again and redownloaded. This inconvenience and potential loss of access in areas with low reception or limited data usage highlight the need for stronger ownership rights and protection for digital media.

The confusion and frustration experienced by consumers regarding the limitations and potential loss of access to their purchased media underscore the need for a more secure and permanent ownership system. Physical keys or NFTs can provide a solution by ensuring that ownership rights extend beyond the original account and allow for reactivation of keys even if the account is no longer accessible.

Not only does the issue of ownership rights in digital media impact entertainment, but it also extends to other physical objects that require deeds, such as houses and cars. The current copyright laws and licensing practices have resulted in a lack of control and ownership for consumers, limiting their ability to fully utilize and transfer their digital media.

Ultimately, the influence of corporate lobbyists and the lack of representation for public interests have contributed to the current state of copyright laws and digital ownership rights. It is essential to advocate for stronger ownership rights in digital media to ensure that consumers have full control over their purchases and can enjoy their digital media without limitations or restrictions.

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