Making Money Online from Intellectual Property

By L. Mcindoe, Montgomery "Monte" | Business Credit, October 2000 | Go to article overview

Making Money Online from Intellectual Property


L. Mcindoe, Montgomery "Monte", Business Credit


Media organizations are among the masters of the Internet. Yet roadblocks remain in preventing all content providers over the Internet from building thriving electronic commerce enterprises: How to implement online transaction systems that defend against intellectual property theft, fraudulent credit card use, and costly chargebacks? How to make money on typically low cost transactions (under $20 or far less) without having profits eaten up by bank charges? How to penetrate new markets that don't necessarily have access to traditional credit cards, or that do not want to enter their credit card numbers online?

There is a telephony-based application and solution that has proven itself in the adult entertainment industry, possibly the single largest moneymaking category on the Internet. It is an application and a solution that is well suited to all content-oriented web Sites, including newspapers, magazines, book publishers, and the recording industry, making their products and services universally available.

By adopting telephony-based payment systems that charge transactions to phone bill accounts, all content providers including newspaper and magazine publishers, broadcasters, book publishers, and the recording industry can realize the same benefits that the adult entertainment business has enjoyed since the commercialization of the Internet. The result: Publishers will be protecting their interests, as well as the intellectual property rights of their content producers. And, hopefully, consumers will respond by rejecting the illegal practice of freely swapping back and forth amongst themselves copyright-protected intellectual property

Recent developments among book publishers will inevitably improve publishers of all printed material the ability to sell electronic content for two reasons: increased familiarity and improved formatting. Andersen Consulting has projected that demand for e-books will reach $2.3 billion by 2005, in the U.S. alone The proliferation of e-books will draw many thousands of readers, helping them to become more familiar and comfortable with downloading and reading text on screen. The potential already has been dramatically proven by the success of the much-discussed release of horror-maven Stephen Kings electronic novella, Riding the Bullet, last spring. Some 400,000 copies of the story were downloaded in just the first 24 hours. Since then, King came out with his next e-book experiment, The Plant, and the following challenge to his fans posted on his "Official Stephen King Web Presence" site:

"I'm committed to publishing at least the first two segments. Whether or not I publish more depends...Depends on what?...In the words of The Turtles, 'You, baby, nobody but you.' If you pay, the story rolls. If you don't, the story folds...How much? Buck an episode...flow does it work?..."

King's site provides various payment options, including credit card, check, or money order and a link to Amazon.com's payment site. Fans are also given the option of reading first and then deciding whether or not they want to pay. But if there are more freeloaders than payers, King threatens not to pen any more entries to The Plant. He encourages his fans to participate in the experiment and perhaps becoming fodder and virtual partners for a future King novel with the following enticement: "My friends, we have a chance to become Big Publishing's worst nightmare." So far, the experiment seems to be working as more than three-quarters of over 150,000 visitors to the site in the six weeks of the experiment ponied up the buck per chapter payment.

Moreover, lessons have been learned from that experiment and apparently taken to heart. Microsoft claims that it has improved its software technology making digital text easier to read. The software giant announced this past summer separate strategic alliances with Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com, demonstrating these companies' commitment to selling digital books. …

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