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INDICARE - The Informed Dialogue about Consumer Acceptability of DRM Solutions in Europe

INDICARE - The Informed Dialogue about Consumer Acceptability of DRM Solutions in Europe
Project team:

Orwat, Carsten (Project leader); Knud Böhle; Bettina-Johanna Krings; Ulrich Riehm

Funding:

European Commission, DG Information Society, eContent Programme

Start date:

2004

End date:

2006

Project partners:

Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS) des Forschungszentrums Karlsruhe in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (co-ordinator); Berlecon Research GmbH, Berlin; Institute for Information Law (IViR), Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam; Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Measurement and Information Systems, SEARCH Laboratory

Research group:

Innovation processes and impacts of technology

Project description

The aim of “INDICARE” (The Informed Dialogue about Consumer Acceptability of DRM Solutions in Europe), a project funded by the European Commission within the framework of its eContent Programme, is to contribute - from the perspective of consumers and users - to the deliberation of open questions about “Digital Rights Management” (DRM).

DRM-Systems (DRMs), i.e. technical as well as organisational provisions to manage rights with respect to digital goods, are primarily applied to enable new business models for the distribution of digital goods (music, video, TV, games, text documents etc.) and to stop unauthorised use. In the current state of development and deployment, conflicts have cropped up among stakeholders. A pivotal question is on what conditions DRMs will become widely accepted by consumers for a broad range of digital products. Furthermore it is a moot question whether and on what conditions, small and medium sized content providers will employ DRMs for the exploitation of digital content.

The overall objectives of INDICARE, to be achieved by means of the Informed Dialogue, are: bringing the interests of European consumers and smaller users to bear, to reconcile the interests of all actors involved, and by this to support the development of a common European position with respect to hitherto contended questions.

To this end INDICARE provides a variety of means for information exchange and debate. Those interested to participate can do so at different levels of involvement: from posting every now and then contributions to the online-discussion to authoring original articles. It is even possible to get even more intensively involved in the publication process of the project. A prerequisite for the success of a dialogue project of this type is to continuously feed it with information relevant and stimulating for different target groups. Therefore investigations and original scientific research by the project partners are of great importance.

The most important project activities are as follows:

  • A comprehensive and informative website on consumer and user aspects of DRM.
  • An electronic discussion forum in order to exchange views, to disseminate information on recent developments, and to answer specific questions raised by participants.
  • A monthly publication, the INDICARE Monitor, covering news stories, statements of opinion, hands on experiences, cases of best or worst practice, reviews, interviews, etc.
  • Five workshops dealing with “Business Models and Rights Management”, “e-Payments for Digital Content”, “Consumer Perspective on DRM”, “Social Exclusion by DRM”, and “Human Factors of DRMs”.
  • Comprehensive state of the art reports providing up-to-date information about legal, technological, economic, and social aspects of DRM developments.
  • Consumer surveys in order to obtain reliable data about usage patterns and consumer behaviour with respect to digital goods, as well as about consumer preferences and the acceptability of DRM solutions.
  • Publications for specifically targeted audiences, namely a “Consumer Guide”, a “Guide for Users”, and “Policy Papers”.

ITAS has generated the idea of the INDICARE project and coordinates the consortium carrying it out. The project partners are besides ITAS three well-known European research institutions.

Project information

Project Name

The acronym INDICARE stands for the INformed DIalogue about Consumer Acceptability of DRM Solutions in Europe.

Overall Goal

The overall goal of INDICARE was to raise awareness, help to reconcile heterogeneous interests of multiple players, and to support the emergence of a common European position with regard to consumer and user issues of Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions.

INDICARE and the eContent Programme

The INDICARE project was financially supported as an Accompanying Measure under the eContent Programme of the Directorate General Information Society of the European Commission (Reference: EDC - 53042 INDICARE /28609). INDICARE started first of March 2004 and ended February 2006.

The objective of the INDICARE project is also to buttress the overall goals of the eContent programme, i.e. to increase availability, use and distribution of European digital content.

In its views and opinions, the INDICARE project is independent from the European Commission and the views expressed by and within the INDICARE project are not necessarily the opinions of the European Commission.

Focus

INDICARE addressed problems pointed out in the eContent work programme 2003-2004: “There has been little attention to the consumer side of managing rights. Questions remain open as to the level of consumer acceptability of rights management solutions. Interface and functionality of systems, as well as policy issues linked to privacy and access to information should be the investigated. The consumer question also involves the easiness of access, the legitimate use of content and business models and the easiness of access for disabled persons” (p. 19). In addition to consumer issues INDICARE addressed the user side, in particular concerns of creators and small and medium-sized information providers.

The project focused especially on issues of consumer and user concerns regarding Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. Besides consumers, mainly the concerns of small and medium-sized users firms were looked upon. While for the most part the online distribution of digital content over fixed or mobile electronic networks was considered, also the offline distribution (e.g. CDs, DVDs) was included. The considered types of information are mainly commercial content, such as digital music, movies, books, or software including games. The main regional focus was Europe, but also developments outside Europe were taken into account.

Approach

The INDICARE project established and maintained an informed dialogue about consumer and user issues of DRM. Informed dialogue means that discussions was stimulated and informed by good quality input such as news information and profound analyses (see Publications and Journal Archive). Part of the input was derived from interdisciplinary in-depth research of the INDICARE partners as well as from knowledge of experts and stakeholders co-operating with INDICARE.

Composition of Partners

The composition of partners brought together the interdisciplinary competences required for the Informed Dialogue.

  • Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, the co-ordinator of the project, has long-standing experience in socio-economic studies of information and communication technologies (ICT), technology assessment and policy advise.
  • Berlecon Research, Berlin, Germany, analyzes the market for information technologies and the services based on IT, their usage and the effects of new technologies and concepts on enterprises and markets. The economic and technical expertise of Berlecon is based on scientific methods of analysis.
  • Instituut voor Informatierecht (IViR), Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit van Amsterdam, , Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is one of the outstanding European centres for information law, focusing on intellectual and industrial property, e.g. copyright, software patents, privacy and media law. IViR website
  • Search Laboratory, Méréstechnika és Információs Rendszerek Tanszék, Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary, has expertise in technology research on DRM systems, mobile and Internet security, and adds the perspective of new member states.

Project team

Knud Böhle
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Karlsruhe, Germany
Philipp Bohn
Berlecon Research GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Nicole Dufft
Berlecon Research GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Margreet Groenenboom
Institute for Information Law (IViR), Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Natali Helberger
Institute for Information Law (IViR), Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Zoltán Hornák
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Measurement and Information Systems, SEARCH Laboratory, Budapest, Hungary
Ernö Jeges
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Measurement and Information Systems, SEARCH Laboratory, Budapest, Hungary
Kristóf Kerényi
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Measurement and Information Systems, SEARCH Laboratory, Budapest, Hungary
Rik Lambers
Associate member, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Carsten Orwat (project coordinator)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Karlsruhe, Germany
Michael Rader
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Karlsruhe, Germany
Ulrich Riehm
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Karlsruhe, Germany
Gergely Tóth
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Measurement and Information Systems, SEARCH Laboratory, Budapest, Hungary
Thorsten Wichmann †
Berlecon Research GmbH, Berlin, Germany

Publications


2006
Book Chapters
Böhle, K.; Orwat, C.
Consumer awareness and acceptance of copyright.
2006. The recasting of copyright & related rights for the knowledge economy. Final report. Study commissioned by DG internal market of the European Commission. Ed.: Institute for Information Law (IVIR), 197–209, European Commission, Amsterdam 
Conference Papers
Orwat, C.
Digital Rights Management in public science.
2006. Report on the 4th INDICARE Workshop, Bruxelles, B, December 8, 2005 
2005
Book Chapters
Orwat, C.; Grunwald, A.
Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien und nachhaltige Entwicklung.
2005. Mappus, S. [Hrsg.] Erde 2.0 : Technologische Innovationen als Chance für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung? Berlin [u.a.] : Springer, 2005, 242–73 
Journal Articles
Böhle, K.
Obscurity in patent matters.
2005. INDICARE Monitor, 1 (9), Article: 82 
Böhle, K.
About the mind-set of software pirates.
2005. INDICARE Monitor, 1 (8), 2–6 
Presentations
Orwat, C.
Analysis of consumer issues and paths for concrete approaches.
2005. DRM Workshop ’Towards Reaching Consensus on Digital Rights Management’ Bruxelles, B, April 6, 2005 

Contact

Dr. Carsten Orwat
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe
Germany

Tel.: +49 721 608-26116
E-Mail