Peer-to-Peer Networking and Digital Rights Management: How Market Tools Can Solve Copyright Problems


This study argues that the basic functions of DRM and P2P can be quite complementary and that innovative market mechanisms that canhelp alleviate many copyright concerns are currently blossoming. Government should protect the copyrights of content owners but simultaneously allow the free market to determine potential synergies, responses, and outcomes that tap different P2P and DRM business models. In particular, market operations are greatly preferable to government technology controls, on the one hand, or mandatory compulsory licensing schemes, on the other. Recent court decisions regarding the liability of P2P networks or software providers may force the Supreme Court to revisit its own precedents in this area. In the absence of an efficient resolution by the Court,Congress may pass legislation that may interfere with both technological evolution and free-market processes.

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