CBO weighs in on "Copyright Issues in Digital Media"

The United States Congressional Budget Office has released a report on what it perceives to be the key issues in the digital media crisis.  The methodology is primarily an economic analysis of various options before the Congress for helping to resolve the problem.  The report comes down on the side of using DRMs as the most efficient means of resolution.  The closest thing to a clear recommendation reads: “potential efficiency gains can be realized by applying advances in digital technology to legal markets for creative works.”  The report is generally dismissive of alternative compensation proposals.   (The report does include a few citations to work related to our faculty and the Digital Media Project.)

Consider whether this is the future of the Net you have in mind: “By the time the royalty-setting process is completed, moreover, the Internet may be sufficiently regulated to enable strict copyright enforcement and, in particular, the emergence of private-sector licensing and royalty-collection agencies.  Indeed, the Internet today remains a relatively unregulated environment, and as it is integrated into business and household use, it may well become subject to greater control and monitoring.”

The conclusion to the legislative solutions section (as well as the summary) notes: “When considering any legislative option for revising copyright law–whether one of those discussed in this paper or some other option–it is important to be mindful of the possibility that a modification to copyright law could well have unintended consequences. Any revisions that are undertaken, therefore, require careful deliberation.”

Andrew Orlowski of the Register has more.

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