Youtube, UGC, and Digital Music: Competing Business and Cultural Models in the Internet Age

47 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2011

See all articles by Olufunmilayo Arewa

Olufunmilayo Arewa

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: July, 21 2011


YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, and other websites that contain user-generated content (UGC) have become key reference points in broader debates about copyright in the digital era. UGC websites and other digital era players have created much destruction of cultural industry business models. The rise of Web 2.0 thus poses significant challenges to pre-digital era cultural industry business models, particularly because UGC may contain copyright protected content. The challenges of YouTube and other websites containing UGC and video content follow experiences in the music arena. The music industry was the first of the cultural industries to confront the digital era, and the experiences of industry participants, users (who may also be creators), and creators in that sector have shaped disputes in other segments of the cultural industries. The recording industry in particular has not fared well during the digital era. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing has negatively affected cultural industry business models, and industry participants often blame P2P for their misfortunes. The business fortunes of many cultural industry players during the digital era have, however, also been shaped by other forces, including changes in the competitive business environment and cultural changes that may reflect shifting preferences.

Keywords: Law and Technology, Law and Society, Intellectual Property Law, Arts and Literature

Suggested Citation

Arewa, Olufunmilayo, Youtube, UGC, and Digital Music: Competing Business and Cultural Models in the Internet Age (July, 21 2011). Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 2, 2010; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-27. Available at SSRN:

Olufunmilayo Arewa (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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