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White Knight or Trojan Horse? The Consequences of Digital Rights Management for Consumers, Firms and Society

Communications & Strategies, No. 69, p. 109, 1st Quarter 2008

17 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2009 Last revised: 8 Aug 2015

Thierry Rayna

École Polytechnique, i3-CRG, UMR CNRS 9217

Ludmila Striukova

University College London

Date Written: March 4, 2009

Abstract

Due to its ability to solve all main problems associated with digital goods, Digital Rights Management is the favorite option used by companies to tackle piracy. The aim of this article is to discuss the consequences of DRM for consumers, firms and society. The rationales of DRM are discussed and the expected benefits for firms are presented. In contrast, consumers are shown to be likely to see few benefits in DRM. This article demonstrates that even a standard DRM system is unlikely to improve social welfare. The article concludes with some public policy recommendations.

Keywords: Digital Rights Management, Digital Goods, Piracy, Excludability, Durability, Sampling

JEL Classification: O34, O38, I30, H53, H42

Suggested Citation

Rayna, Thierry and Striukova, Ludmila, White Knight or Trojan Horse? The Consequences of Digital Rights Management for Consumers, Firms and Society (March 4, 2009). Communications & Strategies, No. 69, p. 109, 1st Quarter 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1353075

Thierry Rayna (Contact Author)

École Polytechnique, i3-CRG, UMR CNRS 9217 ( email )

828 boulevard Marshals
Paris, 91762
France

Ludmila Striukova

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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