Technological Accommodation of Conflicts between Freedom of Expression and DRM: The First Empirical Assessment
208 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2009 Last revised: 19 Oct 2010
Date Written: May 5, 2009
This report looks at the impact of technological measures on the ability of users to take advantage of certain statutory exceptions to copyright. When technological measures were under consideration in the mid 1990s two stark scenarios presented themselves: on the one hand, an ideal world where copyright owners could use DRM to make their works available under a host of different conditions in a way that responded to the diversity of consumer demand; on the other, a more bleak environment where all users of copyright material (and much non-copyright material) would be forced to obtain permission and pay to access material that previously would have been available to all. In the face of these two extreme visions, the European legislature developed a compromise position, embodied notoriously in Article 6(4) of the Information Society Directive. The legislature appeared to be hoping that rightholders would voluntarily make material within certain specified exceptions available to users. The author examined how these issues are working out in practice. Based on a series of interviews with key organisations and individuals, involved in the use of copyright material and the development and deployment of DRM, she provides a sober assessment of the current state of affairs.
Keywords: DRM, technological protection measures, copyright, exceptions, permitted acts, freedom of expression
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