COPYCENSE

DRM Debates and Argument Framing

“Consumers now have the ability to buy digital versions of music and movies from a vast (and growing) online catalog. But that convenience has come at a price: Most of the digital content is packaged with technology called digital rights management, or DRM, a sort of copy protection that limits what users can do with the material.

“The music and movie industries defend DRM as a means of protecting artists and publishers — without it, they say, it would be too easy for users to abuse copyrights by illegally swapping files over the Internet. They also argue that without DRM technologies, publishers wouldn’t have been willing to distribute their content in online music and video stores, such as Apple’s iTunes.

“But some consumer advocates argue that DRM often goes too far, treating customers as would-be criminals and putting burdensome restrictions on what they can do with music and movies that were legally purchased. (ITunes, for instance, allows users to burn music to an unlimited number of CDs, but limits the number of computers on which users can play purchased music.)

“The Journal asked Fritz Attaway, a senior executive with the Motion Picture Association of America, to debate the issue over email with Wendy Seltzer, a law professor who specializes in intellectual property and First Amendment issues.”

Fritz Attaway and Wendy Seltzer. ‘DRM’ Protects Downloads, But Does It Stifle Innovation? The Wall Street Journal Online. June 20, 2006.

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CopyCense™: The law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.

Written by sesomedia

06/26/2006 at 09:00

Posted in Web & Online

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