Mémoire – The implementation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) by the Information Society Directive: a necessary evil?

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Publié le 1 avril 2008
Par .

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a range of technology devices and methods introduced in European copyright law with the Information Society Directive of 2001. It combines technological protection measures and information about users and works to ensure the protection of copyright against infringements. The Directive creates a strong regime of protection of copyright by DRM, and…

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a range of technology devices and methods introduced in European copyright law with the Information Society Directive of 2001. It combines technological protection measures and information about users and works to ensure the protection of copyright against infringements.

 

The Directive creates a strong regime of protection of copyright by DRM, and of DRM in itself, by means of anti-circumvention provisions. However, such a regime may be unnecessary to ensure copyright protection in the information society. Indeed, the role of technology in copyright law and the place of DRM in a copyright directive remain doubtful. DRM seems moreover to be inefficient in preventing copyright infringements.

 

Furthermore, DRM threatens the copyright balance, which is intended to protect, on the one hand, rightholders and creators of works, and on the other hand, lawful users.

 

Indeed, fair use is undermined by DRM, but also by provisions from the Directive that prohibit DRM circumvention. Moreover, new consumptions patterns are looming: an access right to works is about to replace users’ exceptions to rightholders’ exclusive rights. Finally, DRM threatens fundamental freedoms of users such as freedom of expression or right to privacy. It also raises a crucial interoperability issue given that DRM providers all create their own proprietary format.

 

So is DRM a necessary evil?

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