The INDICARE Project
The acronym INDICARE stands for the INformed DIalogue about Consumer Acceptability of DRM Solutions in Europe.
The overall goal of INDICARE was to raise awareness, help to reconcile heterogeneous interests of multiple players, and to support the emergence of a common European position with regard to consumer and user issues of Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions.
INDICARE and the eContent Programme
The INDICARE project was financially supported as an Accompanying Measure under the eContent Programme of the Directorate General Information Society of the European Commission (Reference: EDC - 53042 INDICARE /28609). INDICARE started first of March 2004 and ended February 2006.
The objective of the INDICARE project is also to buttress the overall goals of the eContent programme, i.e. to increase availability, use and distribution of European digital content.
In its views and opinions, the INDICARE project is independent from the European Commission and the views expressed by and within the INDICARE project are not necessarily the opinions of the European Commission.
INDICARE addressed problems pointed out in the eContent work programme 2003-2004: “There has been little attention to the consumer side of managing rights. Questions remain open as to the level of consumer acceptability of rights management solutions. Interface and functionality of systems, as well as policy issues linked to privacy and access to information should be the investigated. The consumer question also involves the easiness of access, the legitimate use of content and business models and the easiness of access for disabled persons” (p. 19). In addition to consumer issues INDICARE addressed the user side, in particular concerns of creators and small and medium-sized information providers.
The project focused especially on issues of consumer and user concerns regarding Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. Besides consumers, mainly the concerns of small and medium-sized users firms were looked upon. While for the most part the online distribution of digital content over fixed or mobile electronic networks was considered, also the offline distribution (e.g. CDs, DVDs) was included. The considered types of information are mainly commercial content, such as digital music, movies, books, or software including games. The main regional focus was Europe, but also developments outside Europe were taken into account.
The INDICARE project established and maintained an informed dialogue about consumer and user issues of DRM. Informed dialogue means that discussions was stimulated and informed by good quality input such as news information and profound analyses (see Publications and Journal Archive). Part of the input was derived from interdisciplinary in-depth research of the INDICARE partners as well as from knowledge of experts and stakeholders co-operating with INDICARE.
Composition of Partners
The composition of partners brought together the interdisciplinary competences required for the Informed Dialogue.
- Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, the co-ordinator of the project, has long-standing experience in socio-economic studies of information and communication technologies (ICT), technology assessment and policy advise. ITAS website
- Berlecon Research, Berlin, Germany, analyzes the market for information technologies and the services based on IT, their usage and the effects of new technologies and concepts on enterprises and markets. The economic and technical expertise of Berlecon is based on scientific methods of analysis. Berlecon website
- Instituut voor Informatierecht (IViR), Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit van Amsterdam, , Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is one of the outstanding European centres for information law, focusing on intellectual and industrial property, e.g. copyright, software patents, privacy and media law. IViR website
- Search Laboratory, Méréstechnika és Információs Rendszerek Tanszék, Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary, has expertise in technology research on DRM systems, mobile and Internet security, and adds the perspective of new member states. SEARCH website