Aim and Focus
There are many electronic resources on Digital Rights Management available. So what is a new one like this good for? Of course, time will tell. However there are some characteristics from the outset that might render the undertaking worthwhile: aim and focus, concept, „spirit“, and your envisaged co-operation.

While the overall goal of the INDICARE project is to establish and maintain an Informed Dialogue about consumer and user issues of DRM, the publication of the INDICARE Monitor is an important means of communication to achieve this objective. On the one hand it aims to monitor technological, legal, business, and social developments concerning DRM solutions, especially in Europe, trying to draw attention to consumer and user concerns, and on the other hand it aims to stimulate interaction of experts and public debate. The INDICARE Monitor is not a one way street of communication. It supports informed debate among knowledgeable people.

To achieve a maximum of interaction, the publication process is composed of two steps: First, after a rigorous internal review process, articles written by members of the INDICARE team and external DRM experts are published on the INDICARE website. At this stage the public is invited to debate the content and to argue with the respective author online. After at least 10 days of web-presence, authors are free to will revise the article in the light of debate.

After revision, consolidated articles will be selected for the INDICARE Monitor which is being published the last Friday of each month during the INDICARE project. The topics actually chosen depend on what catches attention at a given moment and on the agenda of the INDICARE project. Often we will choose a thematic focus for the monthly publication, arranging analyses of a subject from different points of view offering complementary information which helps to balance controversy. Each monthly issue will also provide an Editorial and a Masthead containing among others information about the editorial team and the authors of the issue.

„Spirit“, Readership, and Dissemination
The INDICARE Monitor intends to convey unbiased information and to cover the whole spectrum of opinions, including those of the prominent industrial stakeholders as well as those of consumers, non governmental organisations, civil rights movements, and groups threatened by social exclusion. The "spirit" of articles could be expressed in the following slogan: „We reject DRM systems disregarding consumer and user concerns, we believe in reasoning, discussions, and consensus in order to achieve better solutions, and not in code as code“. Obviously our motto is inspired by the famous sentence attributed to Dave Clark of the IETF "We reject presidents, kings and voting, we believe in rough consensus and running code".

The targeted readership are all knowledgeable people with an interest in user and consumer concerns of DRM solutions such as stakeholders, interested citizens, policy-makers, scientists, and last not least also organised user and consumer organizations. The style of articles attempts to take the diversity of readers into account. It is meant to be analytical and journalistic at the same time, and it will strive to make complicated legal, technical and economic matters understandable, avoiding jargon without trivializing things.

To serve different kinds of persons with different usage habits and expectations, several publication formats are available: Individual articles can be commented and downloaded as soon as they appear on the INDICARE Website. Readers who wish to be alerted and receive the article directly, may use the RSS feed. Readers may also subscribe to an e-mail newsletter sent out twice a month with information about new articles and the INDICARE Monitor the day it appears.

Articles in this Issue
The content of the first issue is composed of just one article by each partner in the INDICARE project. While Nicole Dufft, Berlecon, Germany analyses the prospects of music on the mobile phone with a view on consumers' specific demands for music services, Kristóf Kerényi, SEARCH Laboratory, Hungary writes about Standards in the Field of Mobile DRM, helping end users to find their way in the maze of drafts and bodies. One interesting pointer is about the competition between ODRL (Open Digital Rights Language) supported by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), and the Microsoft-supported XrML (eXtensible rights Markup Language).

In the remainder of this issue we have included two conference reports: Natali Helberger from the Institute for Information Law, Amsterdam, gives an account on the Jupiter Conference, Digital Rights Management Strategies, New York 12-14 April 2004, while Knud Böhle, Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe, Germany reports on a Conference held in Munich on April 22 on „Digital Rights Management – Distribution and Security of Digital Media and Information“. Although one was held in the United States and the other in Europe, the key message of both sounds similar: the old days of criminalising consumers as pirates and thieves have gone, the interplay of players has become better natured. Nevertheless, the standing of consumer and citizen concerns in DRM discourse still seems rather weak.

Bottom line
The development of the INDICARE Monitor itself is an ongoing process. What we deliver today is sort of warming up. It is likely that the publication will improve in the course of the INDICARE project when we get deeper into the issues through our own investigations. In the end, however, success of the INDICARE Monitor will depend on your willingness to discuss the articles and your willingness to turn from a reader into a participant of debate and even author of INDICARE Monitor articles.

Welcome to the first issue of the INDICARE Monitor!

Knud Böhle

The Webpage of the "INDICARE Monitor" can be found at

Status: first posted 25/06/04 for INDICARE Monitor Vol. 1, No 1, June 2004; licensed under Creative Commons.