Archive for August 22nd, 2006

30 Days of DRM – Day 04: DRM Misuse Sanctions (Markets)

Yesterday's posting focused on the role that the Competition Bureau should play in addressing DRM misuse.  While that role is an important one, it is by no means sufficient to address the misuse problem.  The Bureau will undoubtedly be hampered by inadequate resources, institutional bias against taking "risky" cases, and statutory limitations that constrict its role to abuse of dominance cases.  Therefore, in addition to Bureau oversight, the law should contain provisions that establish strong disincentives to overreaching or abusive use of DRMs.

Last fall's Sony rootkit case, in which Sony placed hundreds of thousands of personal computers at risk for viruses and other security breaches by surreptitiously placing DRM on dozens of its music CDs, is a model illustration of the havoc that DRM misuse can generate.  While the Sony case is not an abuse of dominant position case, there are good policy reasons to create disincentives to ensure that overzealous companies will not misuse DRM. 

Several potential disincentives come to mind.

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August 22, 2006 3 comments News

Spamigation

Brad Templeton had a very interesting post over the weekend on Dave Farber's list in which he characterized the RIAA lawsuit strategy as an example of spamigation – "bulk litigation that's only become practical due to the economies of scale of the computer era."

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August 22, 2006 Comments are Disabled Must Reads