October 4, 2006

The Rule Against Digital Perpetuities - A Reprise

I see from Wendy Seltzer that today (OK, yesterday) is (was) the Day Against DRM.

That reminds me of something I wrote a while back - The Rule Against Digital Perpetuities:

The Rule Against Digital Perpetuities:

No Digital Rights Management (DRM) limitation or anti-copying mechanism may endure longer than the original copyright in the protected work.

The Pledge:

I pledge to neither specify nor standardize nor implement any system that does not conform to the Rule Against Digital Perpetuities.

Sure, with the Supreme Court allowing copyright to exist almost forever, the effect of this might be minimal.  But consider what DRM technology would be if it had to self-destruct when it was no longer wrapped around a work no longer covered by copyright?

And consider the value for librarians, archivists, and historians of the future if DRM mechanisms were required to self-destruct when the clock on the copyright runs out.

Posted by karl at October 4, 2006 12:46 AM