DRM Implications and Alternatives for IP in the Digital Age

S. Leisten (Australia)


Digital Rights Management (DRM), levies, Intellectual Property (IP), Digital Rights Enforcement (DRE).


This paper represents an effort to broaden the Digital Rights Management (DRM) debate to include alternative levy based models. It does so by presenting and contrast ing two extreme models to address the growing problem of digital piracy: one seeking to maximize copyright en forcement; the other entailing redesign of copyright laws and implementation of a levy system. The choice is to ei ther adapt laws to better suit modern technologies, or rein in and control technologies to better protect the existing IP regime. Existing copyright regimes were established in the analog world to promote a healthy supply of Intellec tual Property (IP). Fundamental differences in the digital age are creating enormous challenges for copyright sys tems, and hence DRM has recently become an important, controversial field. A selection of merits and drawbacks of each model, primarily from the consumer perspective, are discussed. To achieve the goal of fairly comparing two extremes of the DRM debate, consideration of more exten sive free private copying levy schemes than currently exist is necessary. Two alternative compensation models, one proposed by Fisher [1], the other a broader extension of his model, serve this purpose.

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