DRM bridged by contract

While working on my thesis I came along Digital Rights Managment (DRM) today. DRM [1] as a system can be understood as a set of three competences:

  • Observe access and the use of a copyrighted work (information about the document, author, user etc.)
  • Controlling the copyrighted work (password, copyright-protection, keys/signature)
  • Protection of authenticity and integrity of the copyrighted work

Then I went through the directive 2001/29/EC [2] and read that – as in article 6 IV – the rightholder may take \”voluntary measures\” with other rightholders or third parties e.g. the enduser. IMHO this means, that one can use contract law to avoid DRM being effective at first place. Article 6 IV regulates eventualities of missing voluntary measures later on.

So the question is if such a contract – as it may be GNU Free Documentation License – would work as an execption. From my point of view it does. Some more DRM-reading on slashdot [3].

[1] http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue8_11/may/index.html
[2] http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/intprop/news/
[3] http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/02/1659244

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