Paper: Economic Analysis of DRMs
Urs Gasser of Harvard's Berkman Center, who (co-)wrote some nice papers on (European) copyright, points to a paper from December 2004 he missed: Economic Analysis of Digital Rights Management Systems (PDF) by Olivier Bomsel and Anne-Gaelle Geffroy. Well, I missed it too, but here's the short abstract for your consideration:
Digital Rights Management systems (DRMs) are means of assigning access to digital contents. They are joint goods to digital contents and networks. This paper deals with the economic characteristics of DRMs. First, it aims at defining the economic functions of DRMs, that is to say content protection and versioning. In both of them, we underline what novelty is brought by DRMs (compared to other exclusion and versioning tools). We then analyze the mechanisms of DRMs adoption. The dynamics of encoding standards roll-out illustrate the importance of network effects on complementary goods within dynamic vertical relations. This approach provides understanding of the DRM standards competition within broadband networks, and through other media distribution means. It concludes with implications for open architecture networks.