Report: Copyright

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  Copyright Management and Control Systems: Metering

Metering systems allow copyright owners to ensure payment to or at the time of a consumer's use of the work. Those technologies include:

Hardware Devices

Those have to be acquired and installed by the user. For example under a debit card approach, the user purchases a debit card that is pre-loaded with a certain amount of value. After installation, the debit card is debited automatically as the user consumes copyrighted works.

Digital Certificates

Hereby a certification authority issues to a user an electronic file that identifies the user as the owner of a public key. Those digital certificates, besides information on the identity of the holder can also include rights associated with a particular person. Vendors can so control access system resources, including copyrighted files, by making them available only to users who can provide a digital certificate with specified rights (e.g. access, use, downloading).

Centralized Computing

Under this approach all of the executables remain at the server. Each time the executable is used, the user's computer must establish contact with the server, allowing the central computer to meter access.

Access Codes

Access code devices permit users to "unlock" protective mechanisms (e.g. date bombs or functional limitations) embedded in copyrighted works. Copyright owners can meter the usage of their works, either by unlocking the intellectual property for a one-time license fee or by requiring periodic procurement of access codes.

Copyright Clearinghouses

Under this approach copyright owners would commission "clearinghouses" with the ability to license the use of their works. A user would pay a license fee to obtain rights concerning the intellectual property.

browse Report:
    Intellectual Property and the "Information Society" Metaphor
-3   Positions Towards the Future of Copyright in the "Digital Age"
-2   Enforcement: Copyright Management and Control Technologies
-1   Copyright Management and Control Systems: Pre-Infringement
0   Copyright Management and Control Systems: Metering
+1   Copyright Management and Control Systems: Post-Infringement
+2   Problems of Copyright Management and Control Technologies
+3   Recent "Digital Copyright" Legislation: U.S.
+4   Recent "Digital Copyright" Legislation: European Union
The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) was signed into law by U.S. President Clinton in 1998 and implements the two 1996 WIPO treaties (WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty). Besides other issues the DMCA addresses the influence of new technologies on traditional copyright. Of special interest in the context of the digitalization of intellectual property are the titles no. 2, which refers to the limitation on the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement (when certain conditions are met), no. 3, that creates an exemption for making a copy of a computer program in case of maintenance and repair, and no. 4 which is concerned with the status of libraries and webcasting. The DCMA has been widely criticized for giving copyright-holders even more power and damage the rights and freedom of consumers, technological innovation, and the free market for information.