Digital Media Project
A research initiative of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
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DMX gets its content from a combination of creators, major and indie production companies, publishers, content aggregators, countries, and the public domain. DMX content agreements are non-exclusive.

Individual Creator/Owners

Individual creators own all rights to their works, If they have not assigned those rightsto publishers, production companies, or others. DMX pays creator/owners 100% of the fees collected for the use of their works (minus administration costs).

Major Production Companies

The rights for films, television programs, and sound recordings are frequently held by production companies. The major production companies control the legacy distribution channels for records, films, and television programs.

Independent Production Companies (Indies)

Independent production companies (indies), whether they control the rights to only a single work or to dozens or hundreds of works, generally lack the distribution channels that major record, film, television, game, and book companies have access to. DMX provides both distribution and retailing for indies.


The rights to reproduce music, books, and still images are generally held by publishers, which may be the same persons as the creators, if they have not assigned or licensed these rights. In the film and television business, these rights are usually held by the production companies.

Content Aggregators

Content aggregators range from large companies, such as The Orchard (, which distributes more than 10,000 artist recordings, to indie Web sites that may represent as few as a dozen or so artists. There are dozens of independent filmmaker collectives, such as IndieFilms (, that aggregate feature films, short films, documentaries, and such.

In addition to commercial content aggregators, DMX is in discussions with creator collectives, such as the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the International Association of Music Information Centers (IAMIC), which represents national classical, folk, and jazz music throughout the world. These types of organizations have already aggregated large numbers of professional creators, and could make their works available to a large global audience through DMX.


DMX is in discussions with governments that are interested in making available their national libraries of digital recordings and other media online through the DMX service.

Public-Domain Content

Public domain content can be registered with DMX, in which case it will appear in the DMX catalog and its usage tracked. For such works, no royalty credits are generated and no distribution payments are made. The usage data, however, is desirable, for example, by creators who wish to place their works in the public domain but wish to know their works’ popularity.