Digital Rights Management: Maneuvering Through Digital Locks Introduction

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Digital Rights Management: Maneuvering through digital locks
Introduction

In this day and age, it is almost impossible to survive without utilizing some form of technology for the purpose of performing daily tasks more efficiently. My laptop computer enables me with the ability to accomplish a variety of tasks, and downloading music happens to be one of them. For years, I have downloaded and burned music to audio CDs, and since the purchase of an MP3 player I have also been able to sync music to that device. Everything was going great until one day I attempted to make a mix CD of several songs, but when I tried to transfer the music files to an audio CD I noticed a lot of the songs returned an error message stating that I didn’t have the authority to copy or sync the file. This incident introduced me to Digital Rights Management (DRM), a technology used to control the access of digital content. Corporations have argued that DRM is necessary to fight copyright infringement online and keep users safe from computer viruses, and that the main objective of DRM is to help the copyright holder maintain artistic control and ensure that revenue streams remain unaffected. However, there is no evidence that DRM helps prevent copyright infringement or computer viruses. The proponents of DRM argue that digital locks are necessary to prevent property from theft, just as physical locks are needed to prevent virtual personal property from being stolen. I understand this point of view, but I think some of the policies that DRM enforce can inadvertently restrict a user from doing something perfectly legal. This could include: making a back-up copy of a CD or DVD, using copyrighted materials for research and educational use etc. In my opinion, DRM serves as a clever attempt to regulate access and limit reproduction of copyrighted digital media by end users, but as a consequence it can also pose as a barrier toward executing prevalent practices. In this paper I will report on the



References: Arrington, M., (2006). Bill Gates on the future of DRM. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2006/12/14/bill-gates-on-the-future-of-drm/ Doest, H., Goedvolk, E., Kersemakers, R., Prins, C., Salden, A., & Slijp, D. (2004). Digital rights management in information publishing. Information & Communications Technology Law, 13(2), 99-116. doi:10.1080/13600830410001677445 Jobs, S., (2009). Apple - Thoughts on Music. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic Neumayr, T., Roth, J. (2009) Changes coming to the itunes store. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/06itunes.html Pikas, A., Pikas, B., Lymburner, C. (2011). The future of the music industry. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness. 5(3) p.139-149 Sanders, T., (2001). Security and privacy in digital rights management. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=GzN3ohNNPDgC&lpg=PA192&ots=bF8iXjPRSX&l r&pg=PA191#v=onepage&q&f=false Schneier, B. (2001). Crypto-Gram Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0105.html#3 Shonfeld, E. (2009) The price of going DRM-free: Apple’s hidden $1.8 billion music tax. Retrieved from http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/06/the-price-of-going-drm-freeapples-hidden-18-billion-music-tax Trivedi, P., (2010). Writing the wrong: what the e-book industry can learn from digital music’s mistakes with DRM. Journal of Law & Policy 18(2) p.925-966 Walker, J. (2003) The digital imprimatur: How big brother and big media can put the internet Genie back in the bottle. Knowledge, Technology, & Policy. 16(3) p. 24-77

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