Here's a superb essay on the other
DRM problem -- DRM isn't only bad for fair use, it's also a disaster for innovation, because it forecloses on the possibility of disruptive new technologies (you can only build on DRM with permission from the DRM maker; no DRM maker is going to authorize a disruptive innovation that could hurt his bottom line). The paper is by Wendy "Chilling Effects
" Seltzer, and will be published in the Jan 25 edition of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal
First I briefly review the history and existing academic debates around DRM to consider why they have so overlooked the user-innovation impacts. The next sections examine the law and technology of digital rights management, particularly the interaction of statutory law, technological measures, and the contractual conditions generally attached to them. I focus particularly on the "robustness rules" in licenses at at this inter- section. I then introduce the rich literature on disruptive technology and user innovation, to argue that these copyright-driven constraints significantly harm cultural and technological development and user autonomy. I conclude that the mode-of-development tax is too high a price to pay for imperfect copyright protection.
The Imperfect is the Enemy of the Good: Anticircumvention Versus Open Innovation
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