The 3rd INDICARE Workshop about "Fair DRM Use" was organized by the Institute for Information Law (IViR) and took place in Amsterdam, 28 May 2005. The findings of the workshop and the papers presented will be made available as "workshop report" next month.

The first INDICARE survey on "Digital Music Usage and DRM" published end of May has been downloaded more than 1,000 times in one month. An invitation to present the survey results at Jupiter's DRM Strategies Conference (cf. sources) in New York next month is another indicator that INDICARE's European consumer survey has raised interest.

About this issue
Regulation and confusion
We start this issue with an INDICARE-Interview by Nicole Dufft. She interviewed Till Kreutzer'' of (an information portal aiming to help consumers with copyright law in the digital world). The interview is particularly interesting because the criticism of current copyright law is not derived from sophisticated academic debate but based on complaints and lack of orientation felt by consumers. On the one hand copyright law becomes more and more relevant for consumers, on the other hand it gets more complex and more confusing. More information is one answer, the other is to rethink copyright.

Péter Benjamin Tóth, a copyright expert, who has also argued in this journal before to rethink copyright (Tódt 2005) is this time very polemic about Creative Commons, accusing CC licenses of being inflexible and unenforceable at the end of the day. In the context of an informed dialogue (i.e. INDICARE) it is not the polemic that counts, but the issue raised. What is at stake is, so to speak, the "standing" of CC licenses. CC advocates are of course invited to counter Tóth's arguments and allegations.

In the next contribution CC advocate Ellen Euler (Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Karlsruhe) argues that to be successful, Open Access requires open content licenses like Creative Commons Public License, Science Commons Public License or – relevant in Germany – Digital Peer Publishing License. The state and role of CCPL, DPPL, SCPL in scientific open access publishing is presented and discussed. In her view, most authors still do not make their works openly accessible simply because they are not informed – not because of shortcomings of licenses available.

The article by Thomas Rieber-Mohn, University of Oslo, addresses the implementation of the EUCD Article 6 in Norway. He argues that the approach taken in Norway contains innovative elements and would offer real protection of consumer rights – presumably more than in any EU member state. Isn't it amazing that a non-EU-country is going to implement the EUCD in a more consumer-friendly way than any EU member state? Let's look again after the law has passed.

Business models and emerging media markets
The "business section" of this issue is opened by Timo Ruikka (Nokia). In a type of foresight exercise, he presents the move from media products to new media services. In these new media services DRM has another role to play than in the old "legacy model" of book and CD purchases. Ruikka believes that these future DRM-based services (e.g. lending, rental, "disposable" consumption of works) will provide significant value to consumers. In this future setting "contractual balance" will become more relevant.

Philipp Bohn, a new colleague in the INDICARE team working for Berlecon, introduces himself as an analyst with two contributions. In his first contribution he analyses new music offerings on a subscription basis by Yahoo!, RealNetworks and Napster – not yet the future services Timo Ruikka has in mind. Bohn investigates the different business models, the features of the DRM systems applied, and the advantages and disadvantages respectively for consumers, online retailers and the music industry.

In his second article he elaborates on the hypothesis that commercialization of P2P sharing offers potential benefits for consumers and the industry alike  a topic first dealt with in the INDICARE Monitor by Bill Rosenblatt (2004). Philipp Bohn analyses again different business models and evaluates what's in them for consumers and businesses. Both articles also add to the findings of the first INDICARE survey (cf. the article by Nicole Dufft in the last INDICARE Monitor). While the survey gathered reliable data on the demand side, i.e. on the preferences and behaviour of European consumers, the present articles add information not readily available about the supply side (in particular P2P- and subscription based services).

Technical matters
The last two contributions deal upfront with technical matters, however they also touch upon the future of DRM-standardisation and new application fields. Ernő Jeges from SEARCH, our Hungarian partner, first describes the Digital Media Project (DMP) giving a brief overview of DMP and its approach. Although we already published an interview with Leonardo Chiariglione last year (Chiariglione 2004), we have decided to deal again with this project, because DRM-standardisation is one of the crucial issues, and DMP offers one bottom-up approach to DRM-standardisation worth following, analysing and assessing. What we publish in this issue is just the first part. The second part will go a step further, attempting to assess the DMP approach in order to stimulate debate about its merits and possible shortcomings, and more generally about practices of DRM-standardisation.

Finally Ernő Jeges reports about a three day course on "Digital Rights Management – from theory to implementations" organized by the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). In fact it was an expert meeting about different technical aspects of DRM. The report however is not only interesting for engineers. The course also produced insights into future application fields of DRM like 3D object representations, 3D-television, 3D-Google or digital cinema, all of which seem to deserve technical protection measures not yet developed.

Bottom line
This present issue is particularly full of thorough analysis and provocation. Why not use the comment function of the articles on our web-site?


About the author: Knud Böhle is researcher at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at Research Centre Karlsruhe since 1986. Between October 2000 and April 2002 he was visiting scientist at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Seville (IPTS). He is specialised in Technology Assessment and Foresight of ICT and has led various projects. Currently he is the editor of the INDICARE Monitor. Contact: + 49 7247 822989,

Status: first posted 27/06/05; included in INDICARE Monitor Vol. 2, No. 4, 24 June 2005; licensed under Creative Commons