Tuesday, February 15, 2005

DRM: Big in Japan

Andreas Bovens, of the Chosaq blog, has published an interesting paper on DRM schemes in Japan, now available online: Closed Architectures for Content Distribution. From dojinshi and the Aibo pet to the flashy mobile music market and a Japanese version of the broadcast flag.

Here's part of the abstract:

In my paper I take a closer look at the implementation of DRM schemes [in Japan] and analyze what effect they have on the use and re-use of the content they aim to protect. I argue that the scope of this protection is much wider than it should be; in essence, every use that is not specifically permitted by the content provider is in fact prohibited. Moreover, adding DRM to the materials they distribute places the content providers in a very powerful position: They enable themselves to control the architecture and development of the downstream devices that process their digital content. Control of such an extent has or will have a stifling effect on innovation in Japan both on the content production level as well as on the content carrier/editor development level -- a very unpromising outlook indeed. In this respect, I question whether the Japanese content industry's current DRM tactics are the way to go -- possibly rethinking and adjusting business models may ultimately prove to be a more viable solution.


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