The following questions provide a guide to the iTunes Case Study, the goals of the research, a summary of its sections, and an overview of the main conclusions.
Certainly, iTunes is only one of many online music distribution services. Its competitors include Napster 2.0, Walmart.com, BuyMusic.com, RealNetworks Rhapsody, AOLís MusicNet, and MusicMatch. This study explores iTunes specifically as the pacesetter in the field in order to get an in-depth look at the legal, technological, and economic factors at play.
What is the goal of the Case Study?
This Case Study is a part the Berkman Center's broader initiative, the Digital Media Project. Findings from our initial whitepaper, Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World, revealed any solution to the current media crisis must balance the divergent interests of consumers, artists, media-industry representatives, and technology manufacturers in order to provide a viable foundation for future growth. One of the best ways to understand the complex interplay of these factors is to examine what a solution might look like. The iTunes Case Study provides exactly this kind of nuts and bolts analysis.
What about the future of iTunes?
As services like Napster 2.0 and iTunes expand into international markets, it will become increasingly important to consider different legal frameworks and social and cultural norms. The Digital Media Project has begun research in this area, both by considering international regulatory issues in each of the six Modules as well as in a separately released study, Digital Media Trends in Asia-Pacific, which examines legal doctrines in Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia that will affect online media distribution services. The Digital Media Project will continue to monitor these developments in future research and to investigate other solutions to solving the crisis in the digital media world.