30 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2002 Last revised: 12 May 2014
The paper summarizes critical arguments that have been made regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and the legal safeguards that it provides for access protection and digital rights management technology (DRM). The paper presents two important economic defenses of access protection and DRM. First, both provide necessary safeguards that provide the assurance to content providers to make material available for digital distribution. Second, access protection and DRM enable content providers to make material available in a number of different versions that allow market choice by viewers with basic and deluxe tastes.
The empirical record of DRM is surveyed with regard to three sectors: schools and libraries, licensing organizations, and privacy. The market is found to be adaptive to user concerns and not a means where content providers are usurping formerly held rights for their own private gain.
Keywords: copyright, access protection, intellectual property
JEL Classification: K1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation