Digital content has become an increasingly important and pervasive factor shaping economic and social development. High-speed communications, increasing upstream as well as downstream bandwidth, declining access prices, convergence of previously distinct networks, innovation in new devices and applications and lower entry barriers will drive new ways of creating, distributing, preserving, and accessing digital content. As economies move towards being more knowledge- intensive, information-rich activities in which content is created, collected, managed, processed, stored, delivered, and accessed are spreading into a broad range of industries, contributing to further innovation, growth and employment. Digital content is becoming central in research, health, education and social services, knowledge and cultural services and government. It is also stimulating increased participation and creative supply by users.
Appropriate policies can increase the contribution of digital content to growth and welfare and spread the benefits more widely. The 2004 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Broadband Development recognised the growing role of digital content and the Working Party on the Information Economy has undertaken extensive analysis of digital broadband content developments and strategies and associated policies. These principles build on this work, the conference on ?The Future Digital Economy: Digital Content Creation, Distribution and Access? and on national inputs.
The objective of these principles is to help provide and inform the context for policy discussion, policy analysis, review and development. Further work will be undertaken by the OECD and its member countries to both implement this framework, and review and improve it in the future. A range of stakeholders have interests in these issues. It is important to recognise and involve them in further work to ensure that the benefits of digital content-related innovations and the wide diffusion of content, information, and knowledge are achieved.