The Digital Media Manifesto


P. Merrill


Revised Seven Proposed Core Principles of DMP (2003/10/09)





  1. That every human being can be a creator as well as a consumer of digital media to which they either have intellectual property rights or have somehow legally obtained usage rights as well as necessary licenses.
  2. That a Digital Rights Management (DRM) platform of some kind is a necessity in many cases, although the methods for distribution and retail of digital media can be chosen on an application by application basis. The Digital Media Project specifications are to protect copyrights and other legal or contractual rights and not to prevent public domain digital media or "fair use" digital media from being transmitted, and also to let a million commerce schemes bloom provided that the DMP bitstreams conform with the specification for the overall DMP DRM platform.
  3. That access to the DMP DRM platform shall always be technically possible for every human being, given age and regional legal restrictions, both to sell, buy, re-sell, transfer, and to share digital media in whatever open manner is compliant with attendant licensing restrictions.
  4. That intellectual property "rights" as supported by the DMP will emphasize those which can be coded into the bitstream handling of the DMP DRM platform, so that a global market can thrive for digital media. The ongoing debate over broad "rights" to use intellectual property as well as "rights" to protect intellectual property from infringement is of enormous importance to the future well-being of human society, however DMP technological efforts are focused on permissions that can be specified, implemented and configured. Efforts to support regional legal requirements favoring both consumer and content-producer interests will be as complete as possible, particularly with regards to developing the DMP DRM architecture so that it can be extended to support and comply with whatever legal mandates are imposed by future generations and public authorities.
  5. That the fruits and benefits of digital technology should be used and their characteristics exploited, including digital media, in a general manner that benefits society and specifically allows licensed transactions, so that the international exchange of ideas can benefit and so that commercial prosperity can be encouraged, for digital media will increasingly become capable of being manipulated in new ways as human experience with it grows more fluent.
  6. That certain reasonable instances of copying exist such as notating music for private use or copying a reference out of a reference book in the library, as well as reasonable instances of quoting of text or even other forms of media, or the creation of copies when needed for guaranteed and persistent access, or installation as required for use and access on or transcoding for different devices. A robust and extendable scope of such reasonable instances of copying should be allowed and supported by DMP DRM platform data.
  7. Recognizing that intellectual property litigation can be brought as governed by regional jurisprudential standards, and that enforcement and laws are at times inconsistent, DMP shall seek to be an impartial preserve, protecting the DRM platform's integrity as a fundamental protocol for global communication with the potential for commercial transactions and media licensing.