More and more providers are offering ‘Buy and Keep’ services on their platforms from traditional on-demand providers such as Amazon and Netflix to more conventional broadcasters such as Sky. At present, with the exception of Sky, a purchase on these platforms is ‘yours forever’ with the proviso that you remain a subscriber of that provider to access the purchased content.
It seems likely that at some point in the future that the regulatory framework will change to force operators to share rights across platforms allowing those with purchases made elsewhere to migrate their purchases to other platforms. After all we have seen this in the music industry where iTunes supports the inclusion of music not purchased from Apple.
Portable content presents a number of technology challenges, not least of which is a common rights framework allowing for such migration and the requirement for catalogues to be managed in such a way that allows content to be accessed from provider’s platforms which may not have the rights to distribute the content to be migrated. The issues of content right portability are compounded by the consumption of content on multiple client devices.
Arguably the industry would be well placed to resolve this through the creation of its own portable content rights framework before regulators are forced to intervene.
John Bartlett – BCi Digital
BCi Digital has extensive experience and knowledge of content rights and provides a range of professional services and solutions in this area.