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Chapter 21: Digital Rights Management (DRM): Managing Digital Rights for Open Access
1 Brian Fitzgerald and Jason Reid Introduction As Mandeville and Drahos point in this volume, information is a non-rivalrous good. Think of the often quoted statement by Thomas Jefferson to the effect that ‘as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me’ (Jefferson 1813/1854, pp. 180–81). He goes on to say ‘that if nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea . . .’ (ibid.; see generally Lessig 1999). As a result of the non-rivalrous nature of information, the law plays a role in commodifying and packaging information in the marketplace through intellectual property law, which is discussed in detail by Drahos in this volume (Fitzgerald 2001b). A concise and recent international restatement of the scope of intellectual property law is found in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which is an annex to the World Trade Organization Agreement of 1994. It explains that the key intellectual property regimes cover: copyright, trademarks, geographical indicators, industrial designs, patents, layout designs of integrated circuits and the protection of undisclosed information. In some countries consumer protection, competition/antitrust and/or unjust enrichment laws may also act to reinforce rights in information along with sui generis database laws in the European Union. Technological and contractually created information rights However, more and more it is technology that is being used as means of regulating our behaviour in relation to informational products. Stanford University...
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