Rapidly shortening product cycles
The rapid development of information technology today means that the game which was a few months ago considered cutting-edge might well be considered obsolete in a few months time. As the life cycle of new copyrighted products continue to grow shorter, so does the incentive to buy original copies of copyrighted work grow less.Back to top
The New for the Old
A second-hand music shop. CDs are often sold at a lower price compared to a brand-new one. [Self-taken image]
The second-hand market allows consumers to obtain goods unwanted by others at a lower price compared to buying a brand-new copy of the same item. The nature of most digital copyrighted works is such that most consumers would use it only for a certain period of time, after which it retains little of its original appeal. An example would be movies, which one would watch only a limited number of times.Back to top
The presence of a second-hand market brings advantages to both sellers and buyers; sellers can recoup some of the capital spent on purchasing the product after it is no longer deemed useful, while buyers can purchase copyrighted works at a cheaper price.
Secondly, such a method of trade allows consumers to gain permanent ownership of original copyrighted works, such as software or music. This is in contrast to borrowing or loaning such works, which would entail an eventual return of the product to its source.Back to top
As the second-hand market is largely a user-regulated one, this means that there is a lack of oversight and regulation. There may be cases of fraud and cheating, and the quality of goods traded might be suspect.
Secondly, as the second-hand market works on the fundamental basis of sellers selling what they deem no longer useful, there will be significant period of time before second-hand versions of the latest products, such as games and movies, will be made available.