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
1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT)
The 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty, which focused on taking steps to protect copyright "in the digital age" among other provisions 1) makes clear that computer programs are protected as literary works, 2) the contracting parties must protect databases that constitute intellectual creations, 3) affords authors with the new right of making their works "available to the public", 4) gives authors the exclusive right to authorize "any communication to the public of their works, by wire or wireless means ... in such a way that members of the public may access these works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them." and 5) requires the contracting states to protect anti-copying technology and copyright management information that is embedded in any work covered by the treaty. The WCT is available on: