Online Distribution of Digital Goods: Empirical Evidence from Bottom-Up Cluster Analysis
38 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 14, 2010
This paper presents the preliminary results of a wide empirical study on online distribution of digital media content. Specifically, the study analyses the legal regime of a sample of websites, focusing on information such as the licensing conditions imposed on the content, the adoption of technological measures and the policy on collection of personal data. Using a specific ‘bottom-up’ clusterization technique, the data collected reveal unexpected characteristics of the current landscape for online distribution. While it is commonly assumed that content providers tend to be positioned on a continuum spanning from the ‘proprietary’ on-payment model to the free ‘open’ model of distribution, the cluster analysis shows that the landscape is much more fragmented and varied. The paper concludes that websites, regardless of the content they distribute, tend to cluster in four main models of online distribution.
Keywords: Online distribution, Digital copyright
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