D-Lib Magazine
December 1999

Volume 5 Number 12

ISSN 1082-9873

D-Lib Magazine
December 1999

ISSN 1082-9873

Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property

Synopsis and Views on the Study by the National Academies' Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and the Emerging Information Infrastructure

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Henry M. Gladney
IBM Almaden Research Center
San Jose, California 95120-6099

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Late in 1997, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of U.S. National Academies appointed a study committee to consider impacts that the emerging digital information infrastructure is having on intellectual property (IP) rights originating in the U.S. Constitution. In November 1999, this blue-ribbon committee released its report, The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age, on the WWW with hard copy to be available from the National Academy Press by February 2000. The current article is a synopsis of that report, extended by a few opinions of the current author.


Borrowing a library book, photocopying a periodical article, or photographing a painting is a simple act. Vast information is available with almost no out-of-pocket cost. Such access to information has played a central role in American education and civic life from the time of Thomas Jefferson, who believed in the crucial role that knowledge and an educated populace play in making democracy work. However, permission to borrow, copy, and photograph depends on subtle, surprisingly complex and, at times, conflicting elements of law, public policy, economics, and technology, elements that seem to be balanced today.

The laws about copying information have induced relatively little litigation--relatively little compared to litigation associated with tangible property--partly because paper and other physical media are difficult or expensive to copy accurately, distribute widely, or incorporate in new works. In contrast, digital information is copied inexpensively, can be sent anywhere in the world with a few keystrokes, reproduced faithfully down to the last bit, and embedded in new works seamlessly. These changes threaten the balance.

Publishers and authors fear that the compensated market for a new work will be exhausted with very few copies. Some academics fear that attempts to preserve the marketplace will lead to access barriers to society's intellectual and cultural heritage. A few people fear that, with an increasing fraction of the information available mainly in digital form, the historically valuable portions will not be saved for future generations.

Thus the digital dilemma is that the same technology that is making more current information available more quickly and completely also has the potential to demolish a careful balancing of public good and private interest that has emerged from the evolution of IP law started by the U.S. Constitution. The public good is the broad availability of information anchored by the constitutional mandate to promote the "progress of science and the useful arts"; the private interest is the time-limited monopoly given to a contributor to that progress. The challenge is to strike and maintain a balance, offering enough to motivate authors, inventors, and publishers, but not so much as to threaten important public policy goals, such as promotion of education and scholarship.

The Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and the Emerging Information Infrastructure believes that fundamental change is afoot. Society needs to ask whether the existing mechanisms still work, and if not, what should be done. Test cases are now the stuff of daily news, e.g., the upheaval in music distribution caused by digital recording in the MP3 format. However the committee believes that society needs to look further out than today's crisis, try to understand the nature of the changes taking place, and determine as best it can what their consequences might be, what it would wish them to be, and how it might steer toward fulfilling the promise and avoiding the perils. Stimulating that long-range exploration has been the purpose of its report.

Circumstances of the National Academies' Study

The project was funded in late 1997, and CSTB empaneled the Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and the Emerging Information Infrastructure at year-end, with the following statement of task:

1. [Assessing] the state of the art and trends in network and ... content technologies relevant to IP rights management. ... to sort out which trends are relevant, enduring, and promising, and how new communications and information technology may vitiate existing protections for IP ...
2. [Identifying] emerging opportunities and forms of publishing that have no precedents in existing media or current copyright law ...
3. [Describing] how electronic distribution is changing the markets (scale, distribution, cost incidence) for information products, ...including structure of information and communications industries ....
4. [Assessing] the ... available data for measuring and analyzing relevant trends in the supply and demand for networked information services and ... electronic publishing ....
5. [Reviewing] ... existing and proposed IP law ..., in the United States and internationally, and the potential impacts of the proposed legal changes ... .
6. [Considering] the mapping of technology and content elements, their owners, and their rights and responsibilities (e.g., the changing nature of liability and responsibility for service providers). ... develop[ing] recommendations on how new technology might provide new mechanisms and tools to protect both property rights and public interests. Also, recommend[ing necessary] legal changes ... [for] maintaining a ... balance between the protection of property rights and public interests.

Committee Composition and Process

Central to the content and flavor of The Digital Dilemma is the fact that the authoring committee is, by design, a microcosm of diverse interest groups. Its members are from diverse institutions and bring expertise in networks, computer security, economics and public policy, libraries, IP law, publishing, and entertainment and telecommunications. Because of the contentious nature of the issues, every effort was made to ensure that a broad range of perspectives was represented -- in the study committee membership, in the briefings at committee meetings, and in the materials distributed to the study committee.

The committee worked through its own expert deliberations as well as by soliciting input and discussion from government officials, technologists, legal experts, economists, social scientists, librarians, industry experts, and advocacy group spokespersons.

An important part of the National Academies' process is that every draft report is reviewed by outside experts (frequently members of National Academies) whose identities are concealed from the committee until its report is released. Twenty-nine of these reviewers made hundreds of detailed comments; each comment was carefully weighed, and most induced changes in the final report. Nevertheless, the final word, authority, and responsibility for what is finally published rests with the study committee.

Given the controversial nature of the topic, it is an accomplishment that the committee agreed on its characterization of key issues and on many recommendations. It is not surprising, however, that the committee could not agree on all of the recommendations that it contemplated. In the The Digital Dilemma Conclusions and Recommendations chapter, some issues are presented by articulating the different schools of thought. In these areas, the committee seeks to inform debates that must continue because it would be premature to decide now on national policy.

Synopsis of the National Academies' Study Committee Report

What follows in this section is taken verbatim from The Digital Dilemma, except where I felt a shorter wording conveyed the sense of the original.

Origin of the Issues

Advances in technology have produced radical shifts in the ability to reproduce, distribute, control, and publish information. The average computer owner today can easily do copying that would have required significant investment and perhaps criminal intent only a few years ago. Computer networks have radically changed the economics of distribution. The World Wide Web has allowed everyone to be a publisher with worldwide reach.

Today, actions that are taken casually by the average citizen—downloading files, forwarding information found on the Web—can at times be blatant violations of IP laws; others, such as copying for private use, may require subtle and difficult interpretation of the law simply to determine their legality.

Why the Issues Are Difficult

The stockholders are many and varied, with different and sometimes conflicting interests.

Different content creators have different agendas, handle IP differently, and look for different kinds of return on their investments. The traditional model—content produced and sold, either directly or with advertiser support—is the most familiar and encourages a view of IP law as the foundation that provides exclusive rights. But other models include giving IP away hoping for indirect benefit in a correlated market.

Laws and practices vary worldwide, yet networks have global reach.

In the digital world, information access invariably involves making a copy. For example, to run computer programs they must be copied from disk to memory (an act that some courts have ruled to be copying as covered by IP law), and to view Web pages they must be copied from wherever they are stored to the local computer. But the exclusive right to copy is the most basic right of a copyright holder.

The Digital Dilemma, Conclusions and Recommendations

Copying and Access: In the physical world, publication is public, is irrevocable, and provides a fixed copy of the work. Works published in electronic form are not necessarily public, irrevocable, or fixed. Conclusion: The tradition of providing limited access to published materials established [for] physical artifacts must be continued in the digital context. But the mechanisms for achieving this access and the definition of "limited" will need to evolve in response to the attributes of digital property.

Conclusion: The information infrastructure blurs the distinction between publication and private distribution. Recommendation: The concept of "publication" should be reevaluated ... by the various stake holder groups in response to the fundamental changes caused by the information infrastructure. The public policy implications ... should also be determined.

Licensing and Technical Protection Services: Conclusion: The confluence of ... the changing nature of publication, the increasing use of licensing rather than sale, and the use of technical protection services creates unprecedented opportunities for individuals to access information in improved and novel ways, but also could have a negative impact on public access to information. Recommendation: Representatives from government, rights holders, publishers, libraries and other cultural heritage institutions, the public, and technology providers should convene to begin a discussion of models for public access to information that are mutually workable ....

Archiving and Preservation: The maintenance of our history, record of social and cultural discourse, scholarship, and scientific debate and discovery are of fundamental importance. In the print world, the act of publication automatically makes archiving possible, both legally and logistically. In the digital world, where licensing is increasingly prevalent, archiving is allowed by the licensee only if it is explicitly authorized in the terms of the contract. Other challenges include an inadequate base of technological knowledge, insufficient funding, concerns about copyright liability, and a lack of large-scale collective endeavors by the relevant institutions. Recommendation: A task force on electronic deposit should be chartered to determine the desirability, feasibility, shape, and funding requirements of a system for the deposit of digital files in multiple depositories. Recommendation: Congress should enact legislation to permit copying of digital information for archival purposes, whether the copy is in the same format or migrated to a new format.

Access to Federal Government Information: Widespread use of the Web has provided greatly expanded access to federal government information. However, in some parts of the government, the evolution ... has instead been associated with ... the commercialization of government information, increasingly limiting the amounts of information that can be accessed inexpensively by the public. Recommendation: As a general principle, ... data created or collected by the federal government should be available at a modest cost, ... . When agencies contract with a commercial enterprise to make federally supported primary data available, ..., such agreements should provide for public access at a cost that does not exceed the direct costs associated with distribution. Conclusion: When commercial enterprises add value to basic data, the resulting products deserve copyright protection insofar as these products otherwise satisfy the legal requirements for copyright.

Individual, Private Access and Use: Conclusion: A widespread (and incorrect) belief prevails ... that private use copying is ... almost always lawful. This viewpoint is difficult to support on either legal or ethical grounds. Recommendation: ... convince the public to consider the legality, ethics, and economic implications of private copying.

Conclusion: Fair use and other copyright law exceptions derive from the fundamental purpose of copyright law .... Although the evolution of the information infrastructure changes the processes by which fair use and other copyright exceptions are achieved, it does not challenge the underlying public policy ... . Fair use and other exceptions to copyright [protection] should continue to play a role in the digital environment.

The appropriate scope of fair use may be reduced by the development of new licensing regimes enabled by the digital environment that reduce transaction costs, thereby reducing market failures and some of the rationale for fair use. Even so, there are other public policy rationales for fair use that should not be overlooked.

Conclusion: Providing additional statutory limitations on copyright and/or additional statutory protection may be necessary over time to adapt copyright appropriately to the digital environment. The fair use doctrine may also prove useful as a flexible mechanism for adapting copyright to the digital environment.

Technical Protection Tools: Technical protection tools include a wide variety of software- and hardware-based mechanisms. Although these technologies are not widely used in 1999, a few have been deployed in certain niches with some success, for example ... selected use of encryption, especially in the entertainment industry .... Software-based tools have the advantage of ease of distribution, installation, and use. They also have a major drawback because the protected content must eventually be displayed to the user (or somehow "consumed"). If the content is delivered to an ordinary PC, it ... can be captured and copied .... Better protection for valuable content in the face of determined adversaries requires special purpose hardware. Conclusion: Technical protection mechanisms are useful but are not a panacea.

No protection mechanism is perfect. As with any security system, defeating it is a matter of time, effort, and ingenuity. ... , perfection is not required for real-world utility: Existing ... mechanisms can protect digital information to a degree that ... appears to be sufficient for many uses. The deployment of mechanisms involves trade-offs that must be judged carefully: Adding a protection mechanism involves costs to the vendor ... and to the consumer .... ..., technical protection must be carefully matched to the need. Recommendation: Rights holders might consider using technical protection services to help manage digital IP but should also bear in mind the potential for diminished public access and the costs involved, some of which are imposed on customers and society.

The experimental circumvention of protection technologies is a common practice in the security R&D community. This practice is threatened by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which makes circumvention illegal except under certain conditions. The overall approach favored by the cryptology ... community is to make circumvention legal, while making certain exploitations of ... circumventions illegal. Some members of the committee believe that DMCA changes are needed. Conclusion: As cryptography is frequently a crucial enabling technology for technical protection services, continued advances ... require a productive ... community of ... security researchers and developers.

Business Models as Protection Tools: IP protection is often viewed only in terms of law and technology -- but these are not the only tools available. By selecting an appropriate business model, a rights holder can at times reduce the incentive for and amount of illegal commercial copying and unauthorized reproduction by individuals. Recommendation: Rights holders should [carefully consider] what business models offer for dealing with digital distribution. ... and lowering development and enforcement costs. But the model must be carefully matched to the product: While the appropriate business model can for some products obviate the need for technical protection, for others (e.g., first run movies), substantial protection may be necessary.

Alternatives to Networks for Distribution of Content: The information infrastructure need not be made completely safe for the mass marketing of every form of content. The pressure to do so is reduced by the possibility of developing special-purpose delivery devices (such as DVDs) that combine protection mechanisms to make decrypted digital content very difficult to capture. Conclusion: Some digital information may be distributed more securely using physical substrates rather than computer networks.

Given the diversity of digital information products, from scholarly articles and single songs to encyclopedias and full-length movies, no single solution is likely to match the entire range. It would be as unreasonable to treat all IP as if it were an inexpensive product as it would be to treat it all as a high value product. Conclusion: Great diversity in the kinds of digital IP, business models, legal mechanisms, and technical protection services make a one-size-fits-all solution too rigid. Currently, a wide variety of new models and mechanisms are being created, tried out, .... This process should be encouraged, to allow all parties to find suitable models and mechanisms. Recommendation: Legislators should not ... overhaul IP laws and public policy at this time, to permit the evolutionary process ... time to play out.

Copyright Education: Copyright is the form of IP law most often encountered by the general public. The public welfare would be well served by education explaining why respect for copyright is beneficial for society as a whole, and the privileges and limitations of copyright protection. Conclusion: A better understanding of the basic principles of copyright law would lead to greater respect for this law and greater willingness to abide by it, as well as help the public engage in discussions about IP and public policy. Recommendation: An educational program should be undertaken that emphasizes the benefits that copyright law provides to all parties.

Research into the Economics of Copyright: There are substantial gaps in the knowledge base available to policy makers who must grapple with the issues of digital IP. The methodology ... in studies of illegal commercial copying [has often been] flawed and sometimes biased to produce high estimates of revenue losses. Notwithstanding the deficiencies of the reported information, the committee agreed that the volume and cost of illegal commercial copying are substantial. Recommendation: Research should be conducted to characterize the economic impacts of copyright. Such research might consider, among other things, the impact of network effects in information industries and how digital networks are changing transaction costs. Recommendation: Research should ... assess the social and economic impacts of illegal commercial copying and how they interact with private copying for personal use.

Alternative Foundation for Copyright? Recommendation: The committee suggests exploring whether or not the notion of copy is an appropriate foundation for copyright law, and whether a new foundation can be constructed for copyright, based on the goal set forth in the Constitution ("promote the progress of science and the useful arts") ... The question would not be whether a copy had been made, but whether a use of a work was consistent with the goal ... (i.e., did it contribute to the desired "progress" and was it destructive, when taken alone or aggregated with other similar copies, of an author's incentive?). ...

Operation of Copyright Law in the New Digital Environment: Digital technology enables new kinds of information products and services, raising [many] legal issues. Digital repositories pose difficult questions about authorship, ownership, and the boundaries among protected works. Additional issues concern the meaning of digital publication and the distinctions between fair use and private use. Recommendation: Legal research should be undertaken on the status of temporary reproductions and derivative work rights to inform the process of adapting copyright law to the digital environment, to assist policy makers and judges in their deliberations.

Recommendation: Legal, economic, and public policy research should be undertaken to help determine the extent to which fair use and other exceptions and limitations to copyright should apply in the digital environment. As public policy research, legal developments, and the marketplace shape the scope of fair use and other limitations on copyright, and/or demonstrate a need for additional protections, any additional actions that may be needed to adapt the law, educate the public about it, or enforce the law may become clearer.

Recommendation: Research should be undertaken in the areas that are most likely to intersect with IP law, namely, contract law, communications policy, privacy policy, and First Amendment policy. The interaction of IP law and contract law is likely to be of particular significance in the relatively near future, as licensing becomes a more common means of information distribution, leading to potential conflicts with the goals of IP law.

Broadening Use of Patents for Information Inventions: The long-term effects of the de facto broadening of patent subjects to cover innovation in software, information design, and business methods are as yet unclear, although the committee is concerned about the effects to date. Because this expansion has occurred without oversight from the legislative branch and takes patent law into uncharted territories, [it] needs to be studied systematically, empirically and theoretically, to ensure that [it] is fulfilling its fundamental goal. Recommendation: Research should be conducted to ensure that expansion of patent protection for information inventions is aligned with the constitutional intent of promoting the progress of science and the useful arts.

Perceptions and Behavior of the General Public: Little is known about how frequently individuals duplicate copyrighted materials and whether they even consider whether this activity is sanctioned. Recommendation: Research and data collection should be pursued to develop a better understanding of what types of digital copying people think are permissible, what they regard as infringements, and what falls into ill-defined areas.

GUIDELINES FOR FORMULATING LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY: The committee tried to develop recommendations for specific changes to laws and public policy. This proved to be a formidable and often frustrating process and perhaps, in retrospect, an imprudent effort, because of the uncertainty created by the evolving information infrastructure, business models, and social responses. That this committee, a diverse and balanced group of experts, had difficulty in achieving consensus in many areas, despite extensive briefings, background readings, and deliberations, should serve as a caution to policy makers to contemplate changes to law or policy with the utmost care.

The many forces and the new models of content distribution being explored contribute to the possibility of substitutions that policy makers need to monitor. E.g., with information products increasingly being licensed rather than sold, contract law may begin to replace copyright law as the dominant force shaping our information environment.

Conclusion: Law and public policy must be crafted to consider all the relevant forces in the digital environment. Initiatives that consider or rely on only a subset of the relevant forces are unlikely to serve the nation well.

Conclusion: Policy makers must ... analyze issues in a manner that is as technology independent as possible, .... The question ... is not so much what device is causing a problem today, as what the underlying issue is. Policy makers should not base decisions on the specifics of any particular business model.

The digital information infrastructure makes private IP infringement much easier and more difficult to detect and prevent. Individual standards of moral and ethical conduct, and individual perceptions of right and wrong, become more important. Laws that are simple and clear are needed, particularly in the aspects most directly relevant to consumer behavior in daily life. Conclusion: Public compliance with IP law requires ... simplicity, clarity, straightforwardness, and comprehensibility for all aspects of copyright law that deal with individual behavior. Recommendation: Policy makers should use the principles in Box 6.2 of the full report in the formulation of IP property law and public policy.

Personal Viewpoints Not Reflected in the Study Committee Report

Of course, the current article, being 2% of the length of the report that it synopsizes, does not represent the thinking that underlies these recommendations and conclusions. The concerned reader is referred to the full report, The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age, either on-line or in book form.

The preceding sections of this article attempt fidelity to the official Study Committee report (of course, limited by necessary brevity). In contrast, what follows represents personal opinions which might conflict with the report or with the opinions of other committee members.

Between the beginning of work in late 1997 and the recent appearance of the report, its topic evolved from relative obscurity to regular visibility in the national press. The reader might find the committee conclusions and recommendations unsurprising, and so they are to those who have considered the issues. (S)he is likely to be surprised by the complexity and controversy underlying seemingly obvious facts. The value of this work is not in novelty, but in the authority conveyed by the thoughtful and unbiased consideration of a broadly and deeply expert group of technologists, lawyers, economists, and top representatives of interested constituencies. This endorses "obvious" viewpoints sufficiently for measured progress by policy making bodies.

The Digital Dilemma will be seen to focus on IP usually protected by copyright, rather than on patents, trade secrets, and trademarks. The committee repeatedly considered these other mechanisms, and repeatedly concluded that the impact of digital technology on existing law, economics, and practice on copyright mechanisms and properties was much more dramatic than in the other domains. Many committee members expressed concerns about perceived weakening of the criteria by which the U.S. Patent Office grants patents, its commercialization, and the expertise of examiners for software and related topics. However, given limited time and resources, these concerns were not studied carefully enough for firm conclusions and recommendations to emerge.

Further, The Digital Dilemma is an important contribution because it is a visible effort that transcends the rhetoric of any particular interest group. Such a thoughtful and unbiased foundation seems to many people essential before serious attempts to decide policy.

The Digital Dilemma is limited to U.S. domestic considerations, even though the committee well understood that IP flows effortlessly across national boundaries. It simply felt that careful consideration of domestic issues would be all it could handle well, and that to consider world-wide aspects (even only as they affect U.S. interests) would be to overreach. It is further limited to dealing only with issues exacerbated by emerging digital representations, even though there are surely other issues in copyright policy.

The committee conclusions and recommendations on archiving digital works merit special attention and fast action. In contrast to many other issues, a first proposal of viewpoints and firm recommendations on archiving found quick consensus in the committee. The discussion had more to do with practical and technical aspects than with objectives and public policy. The issue is quite simply stated: today most new IP probably originates in digital form, which often contains information omitted from the physical representation(s). The vast resources devoted to creating today's flood of content is not balanced by appropriate efforts to save historically valuable portions "for the record". Some dramatic examples are well known, e.g., inaccessibility of 1970's LandSat data at the same time as funds were requested for new programs to collect generically similar information. Many less dramatic, but compelling, examples can be cited not only for cultural information, but also more practical collections, both in governmental departments and the private sector.

The current author was disappointed with what the committee could offer on questions of education of the general public on IP rights. The problem is not with what might be appropriate subject matter and approach to such education, but in finding practical action to mitigate what seems an unaddressed problem. The issues are caused by technological exploitation "at Web speed", driven by private interests, and often funded by competitive business prospects. Likely remedies depend on much slower social and political consensus processes, would be motivated by abstract concepts, and most likely funded from public purses. The committee quite correctly shied away from recommending any federal mandate that interfered with local government prerogatives, but offers only weak comments on alternatives. Part of the problem is that teachers at all levels are already often overburdened, and are not themselves equipped to present the topic well. No IP slogan is likely to have the immediacy of topics characterized by "Just say No!". Even not having anything further to offer himself, this author is dissatisfied with study recommendations which say little about implementation.

One debate surprised the current author. Divergent and emphatic views exist on whether "fair use" is to be construed as a defense against a charge of infringement or an affirmative right that sanctions copying in specific circumstances. The defense view holds that limited copying, while a violation of the original author's exclusive rights, is excused because it supports a public policy goal (namely, social benefits from authors building on and critiquing previous work, even if they have to copy from it). The affirmative right view, in contrast, holds the public policy goal as paramount and sees the copying not as a violation to be excused, but a right that later authors have with preceding work.

If fair use is an affirmative right, then it should be acceptable to take positive actions, such as circumventing content protection mechanisms (e.g., decoding an encrypted file). But taking such positive actions may well be illegal under the interpretation of fair use as a defense. The basic point is very controversial; some legal scholars (and a reviewer of the draft report) have labeled as "absurd" the notion that fair use could be an affirmative right.

The statute (Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976) states,

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

The words "is not an infringement" seem to me to make "fair use" unambiguously a defense. However, this controversy is likely to be settled only over time and in the courts.


Copyright law has a 2000 year history. We are fortunate in the U.S. Constitution's laying a foundation that much reduces the need to consult earlier authorities.

The information infrastructure has the potential to demolish careful balancing of public good and private interest that has emerged from the evolution of U.S. IP law over the past 200 years. Changes driven by rapid innovation amount to a leap that may well upset the current balance, forcing a rethinking of many fundamental premises and practices.

Opinions run strong on almost every issue addressed in The Digital Dilemma. If, as is often claimed, we are seeing an economic shift as significant as the industrial revolution, then intellectual property may well be the most important asset in the coming decades.

Decisions we make now will determine who will benefit from the technology and who will have access to what information on what terms—foundational elements of our future society. The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age starts a careful inquiry into the issues and remedies and calls for specific next steps.


I am indebted to the National Academy Press for permission to copy from the The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age beyond what "fair use" would allow.

Except for the last two sections, this report is a synopsis of The Digital Dilemma, not my own work but rather the collective work of the study committee, whose members are listed here. I am grateful to them for encouragement to publish this article, and to the editors of D-Lib Magazine for enabling publication nearly simultaneously with the National Academies' releasing the report.

Randall Davis, Chair Prof. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mass. Institute of Technology.
Shelton Alexander Professor of Geophysics, Pennsylvania State University.
Joey Anuff Editor-in-Chief,
Howard Besser Assoc. Prof. of Information Studies, University of California at Los Angeles.
Scott Bradner Sr. Technical Consultant, Office of the Provost, Harvard University.
Joan Feigenbaum Dept. Head, Algorithms and Distributed Data, AT&T Labs - Research.
Henry Gladney Research Staff Member, IBM Almaden Research Center.
Karen Hunter Sr. Vice President, Elsevier Science Inc.
Clifford Lynch Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information.
Christopher Murray Chairman, Entertainment and Media Dept., O’Melveny & Myers Law, Los Angeles.
Roger Noll Doyle Professor of Public Policy, Dept. of Economics, Stanford University.
David Reed Vice President, Strategic Assessment Dept., Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.
James N. Rosse Pres. & CEO (retd.), Freedom Communications Inc.; former Provost, Stanford University.
Pamela Samuelson Professor of Law and Information Management, University of California, Berkeley.
Stuart Shieber McKay Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University.
Bernard Sorkin Sr. Counsel, Time Warner, Inc.
Gary E. Strong Director, Queens Borough Public Library, New York City.
Johnathan Tasini President, National Writers Union.

Together with the committee, I thank the staff of the National Research Council CSTB for managing meetings, providing background information, and producing the report. As the primary staff member assigned, Alan Inouye is specially thanked.

We all appreciate the financial support of the National Science Foundation, and the thoughtful comments of the anonymous reviewers of draft report versions.

Bibliography and Notes

Commission on Preservation and Access and the Research Libraries Group, Preserving Digital Information: Final Report of the Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information, Washington, DC. (1995).

Lee Gomes, Free Tunes for Everyone! MP3 Music Moves into the High-School Mainstream, Wall Street Journal, June 15, p. B1, (1999).

Victor Hazan, The Origins of Copyright Law in Ancient Jewish Law, Copyright Society of the USA, 23-28, (1970).

Pamela Samuelson, Why the Anticircumvention Regulations Need Revision, Comm. ACM 17(9), 17-21, (1999).

The reader not familiar with the protocol of such a study will better be able to evaluate its recommendations with some background about the National Academies' mechanisms intended to produce unbiased, authoritative evaluations of public policy issues.

See the full report's Appendix B for a list of these.

The committee did not address the status of the information created by federally supported researchers based at institutions outside the federal government.

Industry choice of an audio watermark technology for digital music illustrates how current such considerations are.

The importance of ethical attacks on security tools is illustrated by October publication of a successful attack on one implementation of the new encryption protection for DVD moving pictures, and rapid industry response to address the difficulty, which apparently originates in a non-compliant implementation of the proposed standard.

Some enterprises are courageously exploring different business models, such as free release in expectation of advertising revenues. For instance, Platinum Entertainment recently announced that it would release its entire inventory for free Internet downloads.

Copyright and Disclaimer Notice
Copyright H. M. Gladney. Portions reprinted with permission from The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age, copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences, courtesy of the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
This work was done with encouragement and support of IBM management, but without any IBM effort to influence its content. Nothing written should be construed to represent an IBM opinion, policy position, or recommendation.
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DOI: 10.1045/december99-gladney