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The INDICARE Project

Project Name

The acronym INDICARE stands for the INformed DIalogue about Consumer Acceptability of DRM Solutions in Europe.

Overall Goal

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.

Focus

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.

Approach

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.