The Public Domain Commodified: Technological Measures and Productive Information Usage

THE FUTURE OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, L.M.C.R Guibault, P.B. Hugenholtz, eds., pp. 105-119, Kluwer, 2006

12 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2006

Abstract

This paper addresses the questions whether technological measures and their protection contribute to the process of the so-called "commodification" of information and how they may affect the size of the "public domain." As there often is confusion about the meaning of the notions of "commodification" and the "public domain," first it is explained what is understood by these notions. After that, the ways in which the newly introduced protection of technological measures may broaden the control that information sellers can exercise over information usage are investigated. In doing so, the main focus will be on European law, in particular on the EU Copyright Directive of 2001. Subsequently, it is explored whether the additional control that technological measures and their protection provide is desirable from an economic point of view. The article concludes that there may be credible arguments for the legislature to intervene and to ensure that productive usage of non-copyrightable material cannot be hindered by applying a combination of technological measures and contracts.

Keywords: copyright, economics, technological measures, public domain, commodification, DRM

Suggested Citation

Koelman, Kamiel J., The Public Domain Commodified: Technological Measures and Productive Information Usage. THE FUTURE OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, L.M.C.R Guibault, P.B. Hugenholtz, eds., pp. 105-119, Kluwer, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=895642

Kamiel J. Koelman (Contact Author)

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