1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Technological measures: an empirical assessment

A circular from CIPIL, Cambridge University's intellectual property law unit, reports that Dr Patricia Akester has been appointed as a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow (in association with matched funding from Emmanuel College Cambridge) to undertake a project looking at the impact of technological measures on the ability of users to take advantage of the statutory exceptions to copyright. As the circular explains:
"When technological measures were under consideration in the mid 1990s two stark scenarios presented themselves: on the one hand, an ideal world where copyright owners could use DRM to make their works available under a host of different conditions in a way that responded to the diversity of consumer demand; on the other, a more bleak environment where all users of copyright material (and much non-copyright material) would be forced to obtain permission and pay to access material that previously would have been available to all. In the face of these two extreme visions, the European legislature developed a compromise position, embodied notoriously in Article 6(4) of the Information Society Directive. The legislature appeared to be hoping that rights-holders would voluntarily make material within certain specified exceptions available to users. 
Dr Akester examines how these issues are working out in practice. Based on a series of interviews with key organisations, and individuals, involved in the use of copyright material and the development and deployment of DRM, Dr Akester provides a sober assessment of the current state of affairs. Her report will appear on the CIPIL website later this month".
There are only a few days to the end of the month, so the 1709 team will be visiting the CIPIL website regularly in the hope of getting an early sighting of it.

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