Report: Copyright

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  Copyright Management and Control Systems: Post-Infringement

Post-infringement technologies allow the owners of copyrighted works to identify infringements and thus enhance enforcement of intellectual property rights and encompass systems such as:


Applied to electronic files, steganography refers to the process of hiding information in files that can not be easily detected by users. Steganography can be used by intellectual property owners in a variety of ways. One is to insert into the file a "digital watermark" which can be used to prove that an infringing file was the creation of the copyright holder and not the pirate. Other possibilities are to encode a unique serial number into each authorized copy or file, enabling the owner to trace infringing copies to a particular source, or to store copyright management information.


Agents are programs that can implement specified commands automatically. Copyright owners can use agents to search the public spaces of the Internet to find infringing copies. Although the technology is not yet very well developed full-text search engines allow similar uses.

Copyright Litigation

While not every infringement will be the subject of litigation, the threat of litigation helps keep large pirate operations in check. It helps copyright owners obtain relief for specific acts of infringement and publicly warns others of the dangers of infringement.

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    Intellectual Property and the "Information Society" Metaphor
-3   Enforcement: Copyright Management and Control Technologies
-2   Copyright Management and Control Systems: Pre-Infringement
-1   Copyright Management and Control Systems: Metering
0   Copyright Management and Control Systems: Post-Infringement
+1   Problems of Copyright Management and Control Technologies
+2   Recent "Digital Copyright" Legislation: U.S.
+3   Recent "Digital Copyright" Legislation: European Union
Technological measures
As laid down in the proposed EU Directive on copyright and related rights in the information society technological measures mean "... any technology, device, or component that, in the normal course of its operations, is designed to prevent or inhibit the infringement of any copyright..." The U.S. DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) divides technological measures in two categories: 1) measures that prevent unauthorized access to a copyrighted work, and 2) measures that prevent unauthorized copying of a copyrighted work. Also the making or selling of devices or services that can be used to circumvent either category of technological measures is prohibited under certain circumstances in the DMCA. Furthermore the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty states that the "... contracting parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by authors..."