Sunday 12 January 2014

Ebook monopolies and the law: a new article

1709 Blog friend, Swinburne University of Technology Research Fellow and European University Institute PhD candidate Angela Daly has just finished a new article [which you can access here] on this intriguing topic. 

Here's what Angela tells us about her piece:

"The abstract is as follows:

This article will examine the legality of the digital rights management (‘DRM’) measures used by the major e-book publishers and device manufacturers in the United States, European Union and Australia not only to enforce their intellectual property rights but also to create monopolistic content silos, restrict interoperability and affect the ability for users to use the content they have bought in the way they wish. The analysis will then proceed to the recent competition investigations in the US and EU over price-fixing in e-book markets, and the current litigation against Amazon in the US for an alleged abuse of its dominant position. A final point will be made on possible responses in Australia to these issues taking into account the jurisprudence on DRM in other scenarios.

In the article I look at the UsedSoft v Oracle decision in the EU [on which see here, here, here and here], Vernor v Autodesk and Capitol Records v ReDigi in the US [on which see herehere, and here] and I also examine the investigations into Apple and the major book publishers in the US and EU for price-fixing, and then the case against Amazon and the book publishers in the US for alleged anticompetitive conduct around the use of DRMs. I actually submitted the article about 6 months ago to the publisher so it reflects the state of play around July/August 2013 [sudden question for 1709 Blog readers: how well do traditional publishing time-frames accommodate contributions on topical and cutting-edge developments?] – in the meantime, the case against Amazon in the US has been thrown out, and there have been subsequent developments in the remedies imposed upon Apple in the price-fixing case, which include limiting them to the sale of e-books and not to other content Apple sells e.g. music, films, apps."

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