Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan
Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura
Campbell Cowie and Sandeep Kapur INTRODUCTION Anyone who legitimately consumes an information good1 or a digital media product, say, by viewing a DVD, by watching a sporting event on a pay per view basis or by downloading a music track to their i-Pod device, also consumes in parallel some form of content protection. The form of content protection chosen by the content creator or distributor will typically depend on the nature and value of the underlying content. Content suppliers with low value content and few piracy concerns may rely on legal protection under copyright laws. Suppliers with more valuable content may supplement legal protection with technological solutions. Consider, for instance, the standard model of conditional access in pay TV which uses the encryption of television signals to restrict access of programming to paying customers. In general there is heterogeneity of demand for content protection which results in the use of a wide range of non-mutually exclusive legal and technical solutions. As the growth of broadband Internet increases the potential for illegal access to, and exploitation of, content, and as the commercial value of that content increases, we expect a change in the balance of legal and technological solutions to protect intellectual property. Even as a case is made for adapting copyright laws to the new technological landscape,2 more sophisticated technological means of content protection are being developed. We believe that one such technological solution, Digital Rights Management (DRM), will become increasingly important for protecting digital content in the pay...
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