Centre for Internet & Society

This blog post outlines the research methodology for a chapter in the Pervasive Technologies: Access to the Marketplace project, in which access to the mobile phone hardware, software, and content is assessed within the intellectual property framework in India and China. This chapter focuses on copyright and access to music content in India.

Research Problem:

In light of new music distribution business models accessible via the mobile phone, there has been increasing complexity in music copyright licensing, revenue, and royalty distribution. Despite the intent of the 2012 Copyright Amendment to resolve stakeholder grievances, the copyright institutions in India continue to lack legitimacy amongst relevant stakeholders for the management of music copyright.

Research Objective:

Provide evidence-based policy proposals which may aid industry leaders and policy makers to more effectively manage music copyright in India

Research Questions

  1. How have evolving music distribution technologies accessible via the mobile in India impacted business models and licensing practices amongst stakeholders in the digital music industry?
  2. What are the specific copyright challenges for each relevant stakeholder, and how can the copyright institutions provide for more effective management in the industry?

Research Objects

Copyright institutions:

  • Copyright Act (and 2012 Amendment)
  • Copyright Board
  • Copyright societies

Modes of mobile music access

  • Value-added-services
  • Device- bundled music
  • Online download stores
  • Online streaming (primary focus due to increasing popularity)


  1. How have evolving music distribution platforms impacted business models and licensing practices amongst stakeholders in the digital music industry?
    • Map out digital platforms' business models
    • Identify stakeholders within these ecosystems, and their copyright licensing negotiation process, terms, and revenue distribution
  2. What are the specific challenges pertaining to copyright and licensing for each relevant stakeholder? How can the copyright institutions provide for more effective management?
    • Identify and evaluate grievances pre- and post-2012 Copyright Amendment
    • Identify proposals for improvement of copyright institutions: Copyright Act, Copyright Board, copyright societies.
    • Compare music copyright institutional structure and process in other jurisdictions
    • Gather list of policy proposals and evaluate
  3. Methods:
    • Literature review – industry reports, media reports, industry blog posts, academic research,
    • Expert interviews of stakeholders – handset manufacturers, copyright societies, government, lobby groups, content aggregators, music labels, music publishers, online streaming platforms, online music retailers, venture capital investors, telecom operators, musicians, multi-channel networks, legal practitioners
    • Stakeholder analysis of policy proposals


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