The efficacy of digital rights management and private copying levies to moderate the extent of digital piracy
LE3 .A278 2009
Bachelor of Business Administration
Technology and copyright law have been in conflict since the digital era began. Through the advancements in digital technology, copyrighted material is easily converted to electronic form. While this does facilitate many day to day operations such as uploading songs onto an iPod or burning a CD, it also creates an environment that is much more susceptible to illegal activities such as circumvention of protective mechanisms and modification of rightholders‘ works. Technology has also made copyright extremely difficult to enforce, even when proper legislation is in place to deal with it. The illegal downloading and copying of rightholders‘ works is the process commonly known as digital piracy. This thesis discusses two of the most prevalent methods the world‘s recording industries, artists and others affected have established to deal with piracy. The first is digital rights management (DRM) and the second is private copying levies (PCLs). DRM and PCLs were analyzed by using the nations within the EU and with a set of evaluative criteria to assess which method is more effective in dealing with the digital piracy of rightholders‘ works by consumers. The European Union was chosen as the geographic region of focus because of its multi-national structure and the fact it has implemented legislation explicitly intended to address the practice of digital piracy. Taking the evaluative criteria into consideration, the evidence suggests PCLs have greater potential to moderate the extent of piracy more effectively than DRM. However DRM has potential to accomplish things such as protecting the duplication and reporting accurate usage information of rightholders‘ works in the future, where PCLs do not. DRM should therefore not be completely abandoned.
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