Friday, March 10, 2006

Digital Rights Management Principles

USACM, the United States Public Policy Committee of ACM, has published a high-level "Policy Recommendations on Digital Rights Management" drafted by a subcommittee chaired by Ed Felten, of which I was a member.
The marketplace should determine the success or failure of DRM technologies but, increasingly, content distributors are turning to legislatures or the courts to erect new legal mandates to replace long-standing copyright regimes. DRM systems should be mechanisms for reinforcing existing legal constraints on behavior, not mechanisms for creating new legal constraints. Striking a balance among consumers’ rights, public interest, and protection of valid copyright interests is no simple task for technologists or policymakers.
Principles covering competition, balance of rights, consumer protection, privacy and consent, research and public discourse, and targeted policies are included. The goal was not to address specific policies or legislation, but to provide a reasoned set of principles that could be applied as issues arose. More on this at the USACM Policy Blog.

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