About this issue
DRM in scientific publishing
The interview by Ulrich Riehm with Arnoud de Kemp, responsible till 2004 for the development of new media and electronic publishing at scientific Springer-Verlag, reveals fundamental differences between scientific publishing and entertainment the entertainment business: The circulation of scientific publications is orders of magnitude below the one of music and films, royalties to authors appear to be more the exception than the rule, and scientific publishers don't strive to control the behaviour of end-users, as scientists maintain a tradition of free exchange of information and dislike monitoring how they use information. In addition, scientific publishers have in most cases to do with institutional customers and are not able to control the end-users directly. Although DRM systems still play a minor role in scientific publishing, they are not absent – think e.g. of document delivery services. A rather optimistic statement of de Kemp is that "scientific literature for the end-user is in most cases in principle freely accessible". Peter Suber, OA advocate, has already disagreed about it in an online-comment at INDICARE.

Fight against piracy, fight for consumer rights, opinions of Indies
The interview by Margreet Groenenboom with Tim Kuik, director of BREIN, an organisation acting for the entertainment industries in cases of assumed copyright infringements, centres around copyright infringement, circumvention of technological protection measures, and the distribution of circumvention devices. It is good to hear that "BREIN only acts when one is able to speak of an activity of commercial significance…".

The next article deals with a particular case in which a consumer, supported by consumer organization Que Choisir in France filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures Video France and others. Mr. P. had bought a DVD realizing afterwards that he could not make a private copy of it due to technical protection measures in place. In first instance he lost, while the Cour d’ Appel de Paris now repealed the decision of the first instance. Natali Helberger presents the main arguments of the decision and elaborates on its ground-breaking implications.

Philipp Bohn interviewed protagonists of the independent music scene (Indies), which does not only mean independent labels, but also content aggregators, technical service providers and distributors. Corresponding to the image of "Indies" the answers show the sympathy of Indies for consumer concerns and their antipathy to strong technical protection measures - more likely to accept forensic DRM. However, the Independents sometimes depend on powerful distributors who decide.

Technology providers' strategies and Microsoft's gravity
Philipp Bohn writes in his second article for this issue about agreements between Microsoft and three companies (CoreMedia, Nokia, and Philips). CoreMedia announced to provide interoperability between the Open Mobile Alliance’s (OMA) DRM and Microsoft’s DRM system; Nokia announced that its music-oriented handsets will support Microsoft’s DRM system, and Philips will use Microsoft in its consumer electronic products (Nexperia family etc.). These agreements help to build DRM-bridges between the PC world, the mobile segment and consumer electronics. As the common denominator of these bridges is Microsoft DRM, these agreements are likely to strengthen the position of this player.

Thorsten Wichmann, who presented results of the INDICARE consumer survey at the Jupiter DRM Strategies Conference held last month in New York, also watched out for developments at the level of DRM technology providers. He found important indications for Microsoft's growing importance in the DRM business: uncertainties in IP matters not yet settled favour the choice of less risky Microsoft DRM technology paving the way to become a de facto standard. The strong position of Microsoft in the enterprise DRM sector is another indicator of Microsoft gaining strength, as developments in this sector will also have consequences for consumer markets. The gravity of Microsoft seems palpable, the question if this roads to interoperability is the best and if it is inevitable may however be doubted.

Ernö Jeges and Kristóf Kerényi have analysed an alternative approach to DRM standardisation, namely the Digital Media Project's "Interoperable DRM Platform" (IDP) aimed to become an open standard. The authors conclude that market forces won't favour this approach, and they opt instead for governmental enforcement of interoperable standards.

A new approach between OA and DOI
Finally Nicholas Bentley introduces the "contributions model" and the Rights Office System, a new approach to manage rights in a digital environment, and compares it to existing schemes based on DRMS, CC and levies. The basic conceptual assumption is that all intellectual works can be described in terms of "contributions", part of which mean the sources used to produce new intellectual property, others refer to actions and transactions once the work is publicly available, such as payment, review, criticism, recognition, quotations, citations, and recommendation. The enforcement of intellectual property as a private good is abandoned and the character of intellectual property as a public good in the digital environment is stressed. Instead of a mono-directional exploitation chain, the model is relying on an exchange of rights to intellectual works. The Rights Office system is the envisaged infrastructure to mange the exchange of rights. Each contribution, no matter if it is an intellectual or a monetary contribution, is determined by two, unique, persistent, identifiers. In my view this model is located somewhere in the expense between OA and DOI. What still puzzles me most is how incentives to pay can effectively be implemented in the model. As the approach is not easy to resume in one paragraph, please take a closer look yourself and don't hesitate to discuss it at the INDICARE 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, knud.boehle@itas.fzk.de

Status: first posted 29/08/05; licensed under Creative Commons
URL: http://www.indicare.org/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=137