Post-payment copyright service for digital music: a multi-disciplinary study

Heikki Kokkinen

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    This dissertation describes a post-payment copyright service for digital music. A challenge in the digital music industry is illegal copying, which is often called piracy. It decreases the revenue in the music industry and increases illegal digital music files on user devices. The post-payment service helps the users to legalize their illegally copied files by allowing the users to pay the copyright fees to the rights holders. This dissertation studies the post-payment from a technical, legal, business, and social perspective. The goal is to understand its impact on the rights holders’ revenue and the amount of illegal files in the users’ possession. The research is conducted in a multidisciplinary way that is typical for service research. The applied methods include prototyping the service, evaluating user interest with a questionnaire, forensics analysis on how to recognize the illegal files on the user device, positioning the service in the Finnish copyright legislation, technoeconomic and privacy comparison with the existing systems, and the mathematical modeling of the number of illegal files and the amount of rights holder revenue. The prototype phase confirms the technical viability of the post-payment concept. In the questionnaire study, the users express their interest in the post-payment service. The forensics research supports the prototype by discussing the method used to recognize the illegal files on the user device. The legal analysis shows that the current legal framework is flexible enough to allow this service to be implemented. The techno-economic comparison with the online store states that the post-payment system is a competitive business compared with existing online stores, but the most viable business of all is to provide a bundle of both services. Technical methods must be applied to protect privacy, and they have to be clearly communicated to the users. The mathematical analysis reveals that the post-payment boosts the impact of the rights holders’ anti-piracy actions by decreasing the number of illegal files and increasing the revenue of the rights holders. The post-payment copyright system is one of the new business proposals in the digital music industry. Its unique characteristics are that it brings revenue from the content that is otherwise outside the business –content that has been copied in the past, and it helps the rights holders in their anti-piracy actions to use a positive approach.
    Translated title of the contributionTekijänoikeudellinen jälkimaksujärjestelmä digitaaliselle musiikille: monitieteellinen tutkielma
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Ylä-Jääski, Antti, Supervising Professor
    • Luukkainen, Sakari, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-3492-8
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-3493-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • piracy
    • copyright
    • post-payment
    • peer-to-peer
    • Internet service
    • digital music
    • multidisciplinary

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