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The Ethical Dilemma in Digital Rights Management


									    The Ethical Dilemma in
Digital Rights Management
                By Ben Olson
   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
   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
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
Reasons for DRM’s Necessity
   Ease of copying and distributing content
    digitally through use of the computer and the
   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
   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
   Why its currently impossible
       Lack of circumstantial knowledge of situation
       Inadequate artificial intelligence
DRM’s Benefits
   Protects the rights of intellectual property
   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
   Legislation makes it illegal to circumvent
    DRM except under a few circumstances
       Illegal even if DRM is violating users fair use
   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
       Determined through use of four ethical theories
           Kantianism
           Act Utilitarianism
           Rule Utilitarianism
           Social Contract Theory
   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
   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
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

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