In Brief

An emerging set of platforms and services are making it easier for inventors to navigate the complex landscape of copyright and bring their ideas to market.

Between 2003 and 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed, threatened or settled more than 30,000 cases against individuals who used peer-to-peer (P2P) networks to share music. It was an unprecedented legal campaign designed to protect copyrights and intimidate into submission anyone who might be tempted to upload or download material without giving the industry its due.

And while music lovers and open-Internet advocates screamed, the RIAA argued that it was the only way to ensure that individual artists and their recording labels could survive. Since then, as society has become increasingly digitized, the balance of democratization and rights protection has become harder and harder to strike.

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