This excerpt taken from the DIS 10-K filed Dec 2, 2009.
The success of our businesses is highly dependent on the existence and maintenance of intellectual property rights in the entertainment products and services we create.
The value to us of our intellectual property rights is dependent on the scope and duration of our rights as defined by applicable laws in the United States and abroad and the manner in which those laws are construed. If those laws are drafted or interpreted in ways that limit the extent or duration of our rights, or if existing laws are changed, our ability to generate revenue from our intellectual property may decrease, or the cost of obtaining and maintaining rights may increase.
The unauthorized use of our intellectual property rights may increase the cost of protecting these rights or reduce our revenues. New technologies such as the convergence of computing, communication, and entertainment devices, the falling prices of devices incorporating such technologies, and increased broadband internet speed and penetration have made the unauthorized digital copying and distribution of our films, television productions and other creative works easier and faster and enforcement of intellectual property rights more challenging. There is evidence that unauthorized use of intellectual property rights in the entertainment industry generally is a significant and rapidly growing phenomenon. Inadequate laws or weak enforcement mechanisms to protect intellectual property in one country can adversely affect the results of the Companys operations worldwide, despite the Companys efforts to protect its intellectual property rights. These developments require us to devote substantial resources to protecting our intellectual property against unlicensed use and present the risk of increased losses of revenue as a result of unlicensed digital distribution of our content and sales of unauthorized DVDs, Blu-ray discs and other products.
With respect to intellectual property developed by the Company and rights acquired by the Company from others, the Company is subject to the risk of challenges to our rights in intellectual property by third parties. Successful challenges to our rights in intellectual property may result in increased costs for obtaining rights or the loss of the opportunity to earn revenue from the intellectual property that is the subject of challenged rights. The Company is not aware of any challenges to its intellectual property rights that it currently foresees having a material effect on its operations.