University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Technological accommodation of conflicts between freedom of expression and DRM: the first empirical assessment

6286. Technological accommodation of conflicts between freedom of expression and DRM: the first empirical assessment

Patricia Akester (PhD) was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship (in association with matched funding from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge) to undertake a project looking at the impact of technological measures on the ability of users to take advantage of the statutory exceptions to copyright. When technological measures were under consideration in the mid 1990s two stark scenarios presented themselves: on the one hand, an ideal world where copyright owners could use DRM to make their works available under a host of different conditions in a way that responded to the diversity of consumer demand; on the other, a more bleak environment where all users of copyright material (and much non-copyright material) would be forced to obtain permission and pay to access material that previously would have been available to all. In the face of these two extreme visions, the European legislature developed a compromise position, embodied notoriously in Article 6(4) of the Information Society Directive. The legislature appeared to be hoping that rightholders would voluntarily make material within certain specified exceptions available to users. Patricia Akester examines how these issues are working out in practice. Based on a series of interviews with key organisations and individuals, involved in the use of copyright material and the development and deployment of DRM, she provides a sober assessment of the current state of affairs.

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Added on 05/05/2009.

Last modified on 07/07/2009

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