Better Regulation for Consumers: Integrating ICT Standards and Consumer Protection
14 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2008 Last revised: 27 Feb 2014
Date Written: December 4, 2008
National consumer protection laws, some of which date back to the 19th century and many of which date back to the 1960s and 1970s, often fail to address any of the new problems facing consumers as a result of rapid technological innovation and the rapid expansion of ICT product markets. In order to meet these challenges, new consumer protection laws that differ not merely in substance but in form may be required. One such new form might result from the formal, explicit harmonization of ICT standards developed by private parties responding to global market forces with national consumer protection laws. The conflict of interests between copyright owners in using "digital rights management" or "technical protection measures" to prevent unauthorized copying by end users and the interest of consumers in enjoying the full benefits of limitations on the rights of copyright owners (such as "fair use" under US copyright laws) is one area where such a new form of consumer protection law might be introduced. An analysis of the 2006 French law "Loi sur le Droit d'Auteur et les Droits Voisins dans la Societe de l'Information" (DADVSI) suggests what the costs and benefits of such an approach might be.
Keywords: consumer protection, standards, digital rights management, technical protection members, ICT
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