Sunday, 31 May 2009
Digital Rights Management empirical study
Ars Technica reports on a study (208 page pdf) by Cambridge law professor Patricia Akester entitled "Technological accommodation of conflicts between freedom of expression and DRM: the first empirical assessment." Prof. Akester was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship 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. She spent several years interviewing dozens of lecturers, end users, government officials, rightsholders, and DRM developers to find how DRM and anticircumvention laws affected actual use. She found that DRM actually persuades citizens to infringe copyright and circumvent authors' protections. Prof. Akester published a summary of her findings on Intellectual Property Watch. Ars Technica describes her findings as "DRM is so rage-inducing, even to ordinary, legal users of content, that it can even drive the blind to download illegal electronic Bibles."