Contextualizing Digital Rights Management: Past, Present, and Future

  • Paul Cesarini (Bowling Green State University)


This article explores the historical context of digital rights management (DRM), and it examines how DRM technologies and the accompanying assumptions that initially arose from them evolved into the host of rights models educators and others now use, or in most cases, are forced to use. It suggests that the reasoning behind even the earliest forms of DRM remain essentially the same even today; that is, under the guise of protecting existing intellectual property and exploring new market opportunities, DRM cements existing business models and distribution methods, regardless of whether doing so hinders emerging technologies and emerging opportunities in education. This article also includes a brief overview of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), including an analysis of the reasoning behind its initial creation and the resultant unintended consequences it has had on innovation, creativity, and computer-mediated learning.

Keywords: information technology|internet|leadership|legal issues|philosophy

How to Cite:

Cesarini, P., (2004) “Contextualizing Digital Rights Management: Past, Present, and Future”, Journal of Industrial Technology 20(4).

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Published on
31 Aug 2004