Naval Postgraduate School
Fall 2007

CS3610: Information Crime, Law and Ethics

Nov 29, 2007

Copyright, Digital Rights Management and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Seminar 18 <<                     Seminar 19                    >> Seminar 20

Article I Section 8 of the US Constitution states, "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." With the authority of this sentence, Congress created a system of copyright to protect authors and patent to protect inventors.

In this lecture we will look at the issue of copyright. When it comes to computers, copyright has been successfully applied to computer programs and the design of computer interfaces, as well as to text, music, and video that can be processed by computer systems. In countries outside the US copyright has also been applied to collections of facts---a "database copyright."

From there we will move to a discussion about Digital Rights Management (DRM).

We've spent a lot of time during this class talking about digital rights management issues, including two hours' discussion about the Sklyarnov case. In this class we'll take a more principled look at the issue of Digital Rights Management, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and how these systems can be implemented (or at least assisted) with trusted hardware.

Although a lot is written about DRM systems in popular forums like Wired News and Slashdot, there is much to be learned by looking at the academic conferences devoted to DRM issues. The Association for Computing Machinery has been sponsoring a DRM Workshop since 2001. The articles are in ACM digital library; here are the programs from the most recent workshops:

Professor Andrew Odlyzko of University of Minnesota gave the Luncheon talk at DRM 2007. Although the talk doesn't seem to have been recorded, you can read it. And you should---it's one of the assigned readings. He says that it's based on his 2005 talk for Management of Digital Rights, Berlin, Germany . We've assigned those slides also.

Required Readings

Required Listening

Optional Readings


You don't need to read these, but here they are...