Distributed Intellectual Product Rights Common Rights, Collective Rights and Intellectual Property
Distributed Intellectual Product Rights
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© 1999-2005
Nicholas Bentley

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Will the DIPR system work? – Is it feasible?

To answer the question – Will the collective regime and the DIPR system proposed here protect the distribution of intellectual products and compensate the creators? I found the paper 'A Framework for Evaluating Digital Rights Management Proposals' by Rachna Dhamija and Fredrik Wallenberg was a valuable resource. They pose six questions that should be used when evaluating rights management proposals. Below, I attempt to answer these questions from the DIPR prospective although I will be the first to admit that more research is required in many areas.

Dhamija and Wallenberg accept that the information contained in an intellectual product has the characteristics of a 'public good'. The DIPR system described here attempts to treat intellectual property as a public good and therefore avoids all the problems associated with trying to make intellectual products 'excludable' or 'rival' as in most rights management systems. DIPR also attempts to avoid the extremes of some other systems that treat intellectual property as a public good. For example, DIPR does not rely entirely on voluntary payments or arbitrary tax schemes. To the contrary, DIPR adopts a regulated social scheme that allows all parties to 'buy into' the public good.

1 – Is the proposal technically feasible?

Technically two sets of secure servers operating a common protocol are required with appropriate user applications. Both type of server would be issuing persistent identifiers. The DOI is already issuing millions of persistent identifiers for intellectual products and the DIPR system only expands this process. The Internet already relies on strictly defined protocols to function correctly and is the ideal environment to accept another peer-to-peer protocol although additional standards for identifying all the different file types would also have to be drawn up. Technically complicated but feasibly. Obviously a study would be required to properly asses the costs and impact of implementing the DIPR system.

2 - What are the incentives to circumvent legal and technical protections for all parties in the transaction?

There are no incentives to remove or tamper with the Property Rights Descriptors (PRD) attached to the digital product - why remove a PRD and make the product illegal when person in possession can just keep the legally identified one? The temptation to attack or operate a Rights Office in an illegal fashion would be great. Therefore maximum effort should be directed towards protecting and regulating these offices which is not an insignificant task but more feasible than regulating every manifestation of an intellectual product.


3 - What is the burden of monitoring for compliance in the system, and on which parties does this burden fall?

Compliance falls to the authorities regulating the office structure and monitoring third party abuse of registered products. Authors will have a vested interest in operating a dependable set of ‘Author Rights Offices’ and consumers will have an equal interest in dependable ‘Consumer Rights Offices’ to protect their access to their products. Each type of Office verifies the actions of the other and it is this dual independent structure that makes regulating the system so much more feasible compared to a centralised system where one party has a controlling interest.

4 - What is the efficiency of the collection and distribution of funds from consumers to rights holders?

The DIPR system is not directly concerned with the commercial transactions – each consumer only purchases the products they want directly from the supplier. As mentioned in the main document, the Office network could perform a banking function to help the transfer of funds from consumer to author but this is nothing like regulating some of the proposed tax or levy systems for distributing a common set of funds.

5 - What are the impacts on user privacy and fair use?

 User privacy and fair use are totally assured. Please refer to the main text for a full discussion of these issues.

6 - What is the feasibility of legal enforcement, both domestically and internationally?

The principle question here is whether regulation of all the Rights Offices throughout the world is feasible? Because the persistent identifiers require an international naming authority for the prefixes, which in turn identify individual rights offices, a rouge office could be excluded from the registry thus identifying all its PRD’s as illegal. Even if the physical office, the server or whatever, and its owners were based in a country unable to enforce the rules directly the system would still work providing there is an international consensus.

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© 1999-2007 Nicholas Bentley Updated: May 2007