The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Post-Payment Copyright Service for Digital Music: A Multidisciplinary Study

Heikki Kokkinen

Doctoral dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences for public examination and debate in Auditorium T2 at the Aalto University School of Science and Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 17th of December 2010 at 12 noon.

Overview in PDF format (ISBN 978-952-60-3493-5)   [986 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 978-952-60-3492-8)


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, techno-economic 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.

This thesis consists of an overview and of the following 6 publications:

  1. H. Kokkinen and J.-E. Ekberg. 2008. Post-payment copyright for digital content. In: 5th IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC 2008). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 10-12 January 2008. 5 pages.
  2. Herkko Hietanen, Anniina Huttunen, and Heikki Kokkinen. 2008. Criminal friends of entertainment: Analysing results from recent peer-to-peer surveys. SCRIPTed – A Journal of Law, Technology & Society, volume 5, number 1, pages 31-49.
  3. Heikki Kokkinen and Janne Nöyränen. 2009. Forensics for detecting P2P network originated MP3 files on the user device. In: Matthew Sorell (editor). Revised Selected Papers of the Second International Conference on Forensics in Telecommunications, Information and Multimedia (e-Forensics 2009). Adelaide, Australia. 19-21 January 2009. Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany. Springer. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, volume 8, pages 10-18. ISBN 978-3-642-02311-8.
  4. Herkko Hietanen, Anniina Huttunen, and Heikki Kokkinen. 2009. Laila, a file sharing indulgence service. Nordic Intellectual Property Law Review, volume 78, number 2, pages 175-180.
  5. Heikki Kokkinen, Mikko V. J. Heikkinen, and Markus Miettinen. 2009. Post-payment copyright system versus online music shop: Business model and privacy. International Journal on Advances in Security, volume 2, numbers 2-3, pages 112-128.
  6. Heikki Kokkinen. 2010. Post-payment boosts the impact of the anti-piracy actions. Espoo, Finland: Aalto University School of Science and Technology. 11 pages. Aalto University School of Science and Technology, TKK Research Reports in Computer Science and Engineering, Series B, Report 9 (TKK-CSE-B9). ISBN 978-952-60-3222-1. ISSN 1797-6944.

Keywords: piracy, copyright, post-payment, peer-to-peer, Internet service, digital music, multidisciplinary

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Last update 2011-05-26