Digital Media Project
A research initiative of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
iTunes Case Study
 
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Overview

Since its U.S. launch in 2003, iTunes, Apple's Online Music Store, has become the pacesetter in the digital media marketplace.  In light of the recent launch of iTunes in Europe, the Digital Media Project has released its newly updated iTunes Case Study to provide an in-depth look at this service from the perspective of comparative law.  The report examines different legal and regulatory regimes from a range of countries in Europe and Asia-Pacific and considers how iTunes and services like it are likely to fare under different sets of legal and cultural norms.

iTunesWhitePaper0604.pdfiTunesWhitePaper0604.pdfiTunesWhitePaper0604.pdf

Summary

The recent international expansion of online music services such as iTunes has raised a number of questions about the legal foundation of these services.  The newly updated iTunes Case Study (6/15/04) argues that online music services can maintain the same business model from country to country due to the harmonization of international copyright law.  Nonetheless, expanding digital media services must consider remaining differences in copyright and contract laws as well as issues like regional licensing and business practices.  The Case Study highlights these international questions by focusing on four regulatory issues:

  • Interaction between Copyright and Contract Law
  • Digital Rights Management
  • Digital First Sale Doctrine
  • Fair Use Doctrine

Read a Summary of Conclusions (pdf) of the Case Study and find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the research.

Researchers and Authors

Urs Gasser -- ugasser AT law.harvard.edu
Derek Bambauer -- dbambaue AT law.harvard.edu
Andrew Bragin -- abragin AT cyber.law.harvard.edu
Jacqueline Harlow -- jharlow AT law.harvard.edu
Charles Hoffmann -- choffman AT law.harvard.edu
Renny Hwang -- rhwang AT law.harvard.edu
Joseph Jackson -- jjackson AT cyber.law.harvard.edu
Georg Krog -- gekrog AT law.harvard.edu
Ned Locke -- elocke AT law.harvard.edu
Stephen Mohr -- smohr AT law.harvard.edu
Ivan Reidel -- ireidel AT law.harvard.edu
Derek Slater -- slater AT fas.harvard.edu
C. Lee Wilson -- cwilson AT law.harvard.edu
John Palfrey -- jpalfrey AT cyber.law.harvard.edu

Communications Director
Mary Bridges -- mbridges AT cyber.law.harvard.edu

Digital Media Project Principal Investigator
William W. Fisher, III

The Digital Media Project Team welcomes comments on the White Paper.  Please email digital-media AT cyber.law.harvard.edu.

Previous Editions

In April 2004, the Digital Media Project team released an earlier version of the iTunes Case Study as a Green Paper to solicit comments and feedback.  This document is still available for download below.

GreenPaperiTunes041004.pdfGreenPaperiTunes041004.pdfGreenPaperiTunes041004.pdf