Wednesday, December 15, 2004

INDICARE Report Announcement

Earlier this week I already mentioned the release of the INDICARE Report, which I co-authored (Legal Chapter): Digital Rights Management and Consumer Acceptability. Here's the official announcement, another chance for a shameless plug:
The new INDICARE report demonstrates that interests and concerns of consumers are insufficiently considered in the context of DRM-protected digital content. The present publication is the first State-of-the-Art Report by the INDICARE project. You are kindly invited to download the report from the INDICARE website:
http://www.indicare.org/soareport (PDF, 1011 KB)

Although consumer acceptability of DRM has started to draw wider attention, the report shows that there is still little knowledge and empirical evidence with respect to consumer concerns and expectations regarding DRM. The low level of active involvement of consumer advocates can explain to a certain extent the unsatisfactory degree of responsiveness of existing business models, technical systems, legal instruments and political initiatives.

The authors point out: “DRM is a topic that goes far beyond piracy prevention and has to be seen in a broader social, economic, legal and technical context. From the legal point of view, many of the identified issues go beyond the scope of copyright.” The report highlights the increased importance of consumer protection and contract law. Furthermore: “The technical solutions that could respond to some of the consumer concerns have not been fully exploited yet. In the report we show already existing technical possibilities to resolve these issues.” Major concerns are fair conditions of use and access to digital content, privacy, interoperability, transparency, as well as various aspects of consumer friendliness. The authors are convinced that the consumer acceptability of DRM is crucial for the economic success of different business models based on DRM: “Fair and responsive DRM design is the key to a profitable strategy.”
Feedback on the Report at the INDICARE site is highly appreciated.

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