Issues of Digital Rights Management (DRM) in India

2276 WordsFeb 4, 20189 Pages
On purchasing an audio- book of George Orwell’s classic, “1984” from iTunes, the author was faced with a peculiar problem- the audio- book had a weird mb4 format, playable only on Apple products and the conversion to mp3 was impossible because the file was well, encrypted. So, when section 65A of the Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 was notified , a legal analysis seemed to be pertinent- for this provision, introducing Digital Rights Management (DRM) in India, would indeed have a palpable effect on almost all Indian consumers of digital media. Section 65A of the Indian Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 provides legal protection to technological protection measures (or ‘TPM’ e.g. digital locks, encryption), such that the circumvention of such TPM is prohibited, while tools or devices aiding circumvention may be permitted for the purpose of fair use. Such use of TPM for the purpose of access control is classified as DRM and can take many forms- limiting number of installations and plays , limiting content to certain file types , limiting content to be played on particular software etc. We first analyze this provision in comparison with similar US and EU provisions and try to understand whether it is a favourable addition to Indian IP law, especially in the context of its political- economic background. We then try and analyze the problems with the provision, especially through the lens of an economic analysis as well as from a consumer point of view. Since, DRM is

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