Report Claims Private DRM Answers Possible

Digital rights management (DRM) efforts by the private sector are much more well-received by the software, technology, Internet service provider, and consumer factions than efforts being made in the courts or in Congress, according to a report released Tuesday by the New Millennium Research Council (NMRC).

The report also finds that market-driven solutions are being developed faster than judicial or legal actions toward implementing DRM technologies. The NMRC’s “scorecard” of stakeholders and their views regarding public policy solutions to DRM controversies highlights common ground among factions and the “opportunity for bridge building.”

Entitled Digital Rights Management: A Balanced Scorecard Of Stakeholder Views, the report provides background on key stakeholders, central issues they are grappling with, and their proposed solutions to a range of disagreements. It also provides an overview of the players and the issues, essential reading for reporters, policy wonks, and the general public.

“The NMRC publishes this report at a critical point in the DRM debate, as legal ramifications for piracy become more prominent in the media and Congress considers significant changes to intellectual property rights and copyright law,” said s Allen Hepner, an advisory board member of the NMRC.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • The software, technology, ISP, “honest” user, school, and content factions agree on the installation of some level of DRM in all technology devices.
  • The software, technology, ISP, user, and content factions agree on the development of pay-per-use models as an alternative to illegal file-sharing sites.
  • The content faction, schools, software, and tech factions agree on the installation of bandwidth management technology as a way to limit on-campus piracy.

  • “This report emerges in light of challenges made to current copyright protection law, provoked by controversy over intellectual property rights and privacy issues,” Hepner said. “In order to ensure that copyright policy is balanced so that all of those interested benefit, the NMRC hopes to open up lines of communication between interested parties based on the common ground identified in this report.”

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