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The Ethical Dilemma in Digital Rights Management By Ben Olson Introduction Intellectual Property Name for creative works that are not in tangible form i.e. digital media files Copyright law Protects the content owners rights to copying and distributing their own works Also prevents others from copying and distributing works without authorization Introduction… Digital Rights Management (DRM) a technology that prevents unauthorized access to encoded digital files restrictions placed on the content are based on upon rules defined by the distributor controversy surrounding its application Is DRM ethical? Presentations purpose Is the current use of DRM technology on digital content ethical? Topics of Discussion History of Copyright and Law surrounding DRM Features of DRM technologies Benefits and drawbacks based on Fair Use and copyright legislation Examination of question based on four ethical theories History of Copyright Prior to printing press Reproduction of documents Purpose to preserve information Laborious, expensive Few documents held by few people After printing press Reproduction of documents Fast Relatively cheap Many documents available to many Distribution becomes larger expense of publishing History cont… Copyright protection was created to help government make money off of various works Changed to protect the content author Created in US in Constitution To encourage authors to write by guaranteeing them their rights to works created Gradually encompasses many forms of art Digital Works Copyright law also applies to digital versions of copyrighted works Nature of digital works makes even distribution of little expense Natural barrier to piracy does not exist DMCA attempts to fill gap in copyright policy by empowering DRM technology in its various forms Digital Millennium Copyright Act Passed in 1998 Effects Makes circumvention of DRM scheme illegal Even if DRM restricts fair use practices Exceptions limited to: nonprofit library, reverse engineering, encryption research, protection of minors, personal privacy, security testing Gives content owners more control over content Fair Use The circumstances under which it is legal to make copies of a copyrighted work Intended use of the copy The nature of the work to be copied The amount of the work to be copied Copy’s affect on the market for the work being copied Reasons for DRM’s Necessity Ease of copying and distributing content digitally through use of the computer and the Internet. Without some form of DRM, publishers would continue to shy away from digital content DRM Features Allows for protection of various types of content under various types of licenses Can allow for multiple business models including: subscription services, rental services, purchase to own Should possibly be looked at as a licensing program, instead of copyright law protector Digital Rights Management Technology Apple’s FairPlay DRM On download Random key associated with user id stored on client and server User key used to encrypt the master key which is the key to the encrypted content Encrypted master key is used placed in music file Other Examples CSS-encryption on DVDs Microsoft WM-DRM DRM Technology Protects content through restrictions While DRM allows for copyright protection, it also allows control for IP holders that they may not have a right to Fair use is often restricted by DRM technologies inability to interpret the rules Fair Use and DRM Only the policies that can be reliably reduced to yes/no decisions can be automated successfully Why its currently impossible Lack of circumstantial knowledge of situation Inadequate artificial intelligence DRM’s Benefits Protects the rights of intellectual property holders Enables publishers to enter digital distribution model relatively safely Digital distribution is convenient and cheaper for both consumer and provider DRM’s Drawbacks Can restrict a user from his/her fair use rights to content Potentially used to gather information about user habits Prevents re-sale of purchased content DRM and DMCA Legislation makes it illegal to circumvent DRM except under a few circumstances Illegal even if DRM is violating users fair use rights Anti-circumvention is also perpetual Even if copyright wears off, no legal way to remove DRM from file Ethical Evaluation Is the current use of DRM technology in restricting access to digital media files ethical? Determined through use of four ethical theories Kantianism Act Utilitarianism Rule Utilitarianism Social Contract Theory Kantianism The first categorical imperative Universal Moral Law : it is appropriate to apply DRM technology, in its current state, to all forms of copyrighted intellectual property Cannot distinguish in all cases who has access to what The second categorical imperative Knowledge that the implantation of certain DRM systems will limit the end users right to fair use, and then the using that technology anyways treats others as means to an end Current DRM technology considered unethical Act Utilitarianism Uses principle of utility Specific results towards Apple’s Fairplay Good results of DRM use: consumer to legally download music, content owner’s content remaining secure Bad results: resale of songs impossible, limitations on creation of backup copies, media player limitations Benefits outweigh costs therefore FairPlay DRM is ethical Rule Utilitarianism Determines if moral law is right based on principle of utility Moral rule: it is morally correct to apply current DRM technology to copyrighted digital works The good: consumer to legally download music, content owner’s content remaining secure The bad: different DRM schemes are incompatible, player incompatibilities, fair use limitations, resale limitations Current DRM technology is unethical based on rule utilitarianism Social Contract Theory Putting DRM on all digital copyrighted media benefits keeps content secure and it also allows for an effective digital distribution of copyrighted works Current DRM technology is incapable of distinguishing fair rights for the each user, and therefore content tends to be restricted to a greater degree than what is expected Concluding Thoughts Current DRM technology is unethical to apply Potential solutions Rework copyright law Wait for new AI techniques Begin to associate DRM with licensing rather than copyprotection
"The Ethical Dilemma in Digital Rights Management"