Campaigns Wikia


  • Author, publisher, distributor, consumer.
  • These functions have during the industrial age been distinct groups of people.
  • Copyright and Use laws were developed to define the boundaries between these groups.
  • This model is described as a broadcast model because there is an author, who publishes through a distributing entity, and a consumer who receives the information.
  • The internet has made it possible for people to share ideas, images and music. In the context of the broadcast model this undoes the business models based on control of copying and sharing information.
  • Some distribution companies and authors are looking to lock down and control sharing on the internet in order to resecure these business models.


Broadcast distribution models include:

  • Monks distributed through the church.
  • Some Book Publishing
  • Commercial Television
  • Cinema
  • iTunes

Ideas which fit in this model include

  • Copyright - aimed at providing a means to encourage authors to continue to create. broadcasters are currently looking to have these kinds of rights over materials they transmit.
  • Signal theft - copying a transmitted broadcast signal
  • Use laws - Fair use(USA), Fair Dealing(Canada, Australia)
  • DMCA (EUCD in Europe) Digital Millennium Copyright Act This USA based model of copyright law overturns Fair Use laws and also free uses like actually reading a book, and requires consumers to lobby for exemptions to copyright in order to have specific rights to use information. It has been introduced in other nations as a prerequisite of trade rounds with the USA.
  • Digital Access Rights - in response to the DMCA shift there are consumer groups who are lobbying for access rights to redress the balance.
  • License to broadcast - laws, fees and practises required for permission to broadcast
  • DRM - digital rights management, techniques for control of access and use of information by consumers
  • TPM - a technology that controls access by consumers
  • Public Domain - material which anyone can use and relicense for themselves
  • Circumvention devices - this can be any device, tool, program that a third party uses to infringe copyright. Inventors and developers can be deemed a felon if a pirate uses their new technology to infringe.
  • Piracy - piracy is described as accessing or copying information without permission of a copyright holder. Pirate Party of Sweden has taken this perspective and re-used it to form a political party which is aiming to change copyright laws to align the laws with a stronger accee rights focus.

For centralised models of distribution.[]

  • allows an idea to be professionally produced and distributed to a large market place.
  • the model is effective offline
  • industries exist which use this model
  • makes it possible to charge for pay per page reading, pay per play music

Groups which lobby from the 'Creator and Distributor' perspective:

Against DMCA model for centralised distribution.[]

  • restricts who decides what is worth publishing.
  • publishes only blockbuster books/music/media
  • small number of large players offering reduced range of titles.
  • distributors have more control of the process and the copyright than the author.
  • the laws needed to sustain the broadcast model online have to control all use, copying, creativity and sharing in order to protect themselves from people sharing. This is not sustainable as it makes distributed authoring impossible or illegal.
  • This is described by Lawrence Lessig as a read only culture because for most of the community the role of consumer involves receiving but not participating in the information exchange.
  • DMCA DRMs and TPMs make it impossible to be a confident lawful user of media because they are obscure and intrusive(move to law?)

DRM and the DMCA[]

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a system, usually involving encryption, designed to prevent unauthorized used of content. Examples of DRM include the CSS encryption found in nearly all commercial DVD movies, and Apple's FairPlay encryption found in music downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. Use of these DRM schemes are mandated by movie studios and record labels (respectively) to prevent copyright infringement, but they also prevent non-infringing uses such as making backup copies of DVDs and playing iTunes music on non-Apple portable devices.

The concept of DRM is fundamentally flawed, because software and devices used for authorized playback of media need to contain all of the information needed to decrypt that media, making it relatively easy to defeat. Jon Johansen has cracked several of these systems, earning himself the nickname "DVD Jon". Instead of coming up with a better system, proponents of DRM convince governments to enact Digital Millennium Copyright Acts, which among other things, make it illegal to crack DRM, explain how to crack it, or to make or distribute tools to do so. This use of weak protection compensated-for by legal threats only serves to ensure that hones people with no interest in copyright infringement must either put up with crippled functionality or become criminals, while there is little to deter others from pirating content or otherwise infringing upon copyrights.

1/3 of DMCA complaints don't hold up under scrutiny, and 1/2 are filed by companies against competitors. People tend to err on the side of taking down infringing material rather than face lawsuits:


Technological protection measures are any kind of barrier between the user and the copyright material. Anything which has a call response to any other thing, has an interface. These interfaces are becoming a part of the copyright issue as distributors are building packaging for their content which uses TPM locks so that it can be difficult to interface with the material. These digital locks have been developed by copyright holders or distributors to manage how the user/owner/developer/inventor interacts with the material. TPMs have caused a large part of the concern because:

  • It means that the purchase of a digital information product is now a lease on that product for the amount of time and for the specific purposes permitted by the TPM.
  • A TPM has to assume to lock you out of material, ie no fair use, until you prove you are a current customer with permission to do what you want to do. This has proven to be a problem for example when people upgrade their computers and the TPM thinks it is not the same customer.
  • TPMs enable a software to be black boxed so you can't see if it has spyware included, or incldues someone elses copyright material, or to see if it needs improvement if there is a bug. ie They provide privacy for the publisher but not for the owner of the computer, as both of the monitoring systems installed by Sony and MS were specifically intended to report back to the parent companies about the customer's use of their computer.
  • The exemptions for when it is permissable to work around a TPM are contracting with each iteration of the DMCA act. A request to have an exemption for risk to critical systems and loss of life is being contested by the DMCA lobby in the current round.

Technologies impacted by DRM[]

  • Any technology which has a call response to another technology can be 'protected' with a TPM. (Printer cartridges, car ignitions)
  • Any technology which could be used for an illegal purpose but does not have a large commercial base can be considered a circumvention device.
  • These laws are being used to threaten/sue people who develop technologies, because other people found an illegal use for them.
  • Technologies which help to format shift or to communicate between different systems, or to share files between people are being targeted.(file sharing, bitstream, I2P, Tor, font embedding, sound mixing)
  • Any networking technology that interacts with a copyrighted system could be blocked from being developed or sued for being used. (Samba, any mixed platform environment)
  • Black boxing of critical systems so that the owner cant see what's inside (Sony's DVD, MS WGA, Digital voting, Power station monitoring, economic or environmental modelling
  • Encryption


The goals of Access to Knowledge are embodied in a draft treaty, emerging from a call from Brazil and Argentina for a development agenda for the World Intellectual Property Organization. The treaty is intended to ease the transfer of knowledge to developing nations, and to secure the viability of open innovation systems all over the world. Access to knowledge, wikipedia [ Access to knowledge, CPTech]

Lobby for consumers, technology developers and technology researchers[]



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