IP Underlying Media Value - Ecosystem Disruptions, Legal Uncertainty, and Revenues in Jeopardy

Jeffrey C. Ulin

The talk will cover three interrelated topics: (i) how IP rights generally underpin value in the media and entertainment business, (ii) how the value of those rights in the TV market are coming under pressure from macro trends and other economic issues that are changing the exploitation value of those rights, and (iii) how new technology and related legal issues are creating further challenges to extracting the value enabled by those underlying IP rights.

In part I, the speaker will discuss value creation and the link between IP rights and real world value grounded in copyrights; this section will accordingly deal with the timing of value creation, the complexity of licensing deals, how different elements of copyright/ IP rules help create the web of a franchise and in particular an array of distribution opportunities over time.

Part II will then focus on a bit of a case study as to how technology and ecosystem issues are changing the future of TV/ content. Starting with a link to the distribution timeline (opportunities over time), the talk will explore the nexus of common licensing elements with value, how and why that value is being attacked, and why consequently the Pay TV and Free TV markets, despite appearing on the surface to be thriving, are today in great jeopardy. The overall discussion of the distribution landscape will also tie into theories set forth in Jeff Ulin's book, The Business of Media Distribution - Monetizing Film, TV and Video Content in an Online World (2nd edition, Fall, 2013).

Finally, the lecture will touch on some elements of technology and law where there is uncertainty as technology races ahead of legal doctrine - that uncertainty in turn threatens certain segments whose business may be jeopardized if challenged technologies are held to be legal (undercutting assumed legal protections of existing leaders) and therefore may have a profound impact on who the next winners and losers may be.