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Commentary: Value and Digital Rights Management—A Social Economics Approach


  • Benjamin Bates


The rise of digital media has created a number of problems for copyright, in large part by removing the physical constraints of copying associated with older media forms. The concept of digital rights management (DRM) has been pushed as one solution, restoring technological constraints on copying. There are, however, other issues associated with DRM approaches; they are costly and can be used to restrict access and use of content beyond the specific rights granted by copyright policy. These costs and additional restrictions reduce the value of content, affecting its demand and use, with repercussions for the creation of both private and social value. This paper will examine several proposed digital rights management approaches from a social economics perspective—an approach that emphasizes recognition of indirect and social sources of value, and the implications of policy for such value.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Bates, 2008. "Commentary: Value and Digital Rights Management—A Social Economics Approach," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 53-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jmedec:v:21:y:2008:i:1:p:53-77
    DOI: 10.1080/08997760701806850

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S., 1978. "The Economic Approach to Human Behavior," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226041124, June.
    2. Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1989. "The Economics of Uncertainty and Information," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121360, January.
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