What the Wireless Carriers Don't Want
You to Know About Multimedia
Wireless carriers have invested billions to enable mobile networks to transport multimedia. The ability
for one mobile device to transfer multimedia directly to another mobile device is just one result of that
investment. However, in the grand scheme of things, this could have huge ramifications regarding
peer2peer file sharing and the potential undermining of our copyright systems similar to what
happened on the Internet.
Multimedia messaging, also known as MMS has been around for a few years now and
according to most analysts, will one day overtake text messaging as the top dog in earning
data revenue for wireless carriers, operators of mobile networks. Text messaging, also
known as SMS has made wireless carriers tens of billions of dollars since its inception so if
that prediction pans out that would be a feat of major proportions.
Wireless carriers have invested billions to enable mobile networks to transport multimedia.
The ability for one mobile device to transfer multimedia directly to another mobile device is
just one result of that investment. However, in the grand scheme of things, this could have
huge ramifications regarding peer2peer file sharing and the potential undermining of our
copyright systems similar to what happened on the Internet.
As mobile networks evolve more producers will create and distribute commercial MMS
peer2peer via mobile networks. In 2007 there were severe restrictions on the size and
length of MMS that could be sent and received mobile2mobile on most mobile networks. In
2010 the size and length has tripled, with the exception being the older 2g networks.
If this pace continues we'll be able to send an entire movie from one mobile device directly
to another mobile device within the next 5 â€“ 10 years. In fact, Luvdarts LLC, a California
producer of MMS reports that its producers have already sent Â½ hour videos from one
mobile device to another.
Having said that, what the wireless carriers don't want you to know about multimedia
messaging is this:
Fundamentally, In the U.S. whenever you or anybody else takes a picture (this is only one
example, it could be a song or video) that image has copyright protection as it is "fixed" in a
tangible form. Some may choose (usually professionals) to add a notice of copyright to the
image and some may not (usually consumers). Some may register (usually professionals)
those rights with the U.S. Copyright office and some may not. According to U.S. laws,
copyright protection subsists in either case. As you share that image via your mobile device
you are sharing copyrighted materials.
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Now, the wireless carriers have established a multimedia (MMS) pipeline specifically for the
purpose of enabling end users to transfer, distribute and publish multimedia (MMS). They
have established the MMS pipeline to make money in the form of MMS data revenue. Or,
you could rightfully say, they have established the copyrighted materials pipeline to make
money in the form of copyrighted materials data revenue.
If you are a consumer that created that image for fun and don't really care about protecting
your rights and/or placing a monetary value on your creation, so be it. But what if you are a
professional and you do care about those rights? By the way, those rights are also
protected by the Constitution of the United States.
To date, wireless carriers have made billions of dollars from other people's copyrighted
materials in the form of MMS data revenue. In my opinion this is a great sign of things to
come for the future of monetizing peer2peer file sharing on mobile networks. The act of
monetizing peer2peer file sharing of copyrighted materials would take the consumer off the
hook for perceived piracy as they share copyrighted materials. This act would also take the
wireless carriers off the hook for the infringement of others' rights.
Basically a triple win situation would ensue: Copyright law is protected, the copyright holder
is justly compensated and the wireless carriers are off the hook for facilitating copyright
infringement and profiting from the same.
But, these productive and progressive things will only happen when the wireless carriers
fess up to the past and current infringements and also make provisions to fairly compensate
those from the past, current and future that want to exercise their rights protected by the
U.S. Constitution and current copyright laws.
So, now you know what they don't want you to know. Stand up for your rights.
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