The Digital Media Project



Martin Springer


EFF Lawyer Mike Godwin's criteria for a 'humane DRM' vs. DMP RQs



EFF Lawyer Mike Godwin has written a very insightful essay titled What Every Citizen Should Know About DRM, a.k.a. Digital Rights Management. In the final chapter (p. 33 ff), Godwin discusses the possibility of a 'humane DRM' that harmonizes the needs of Copyright Owners, Technology Makers and Citizens/ Ordinary Users.

To document that both approaches could be in-line, the following table maps Mike Godwin's set of criteria against the draft list of requirements derived by the first DMP General Assembly from the list of TRUs.

Godwin's criteria



It must limit (or, ideally, prevent) large-scale unauthorized redistribution of copyrighted works over the Internet or any similar medium.

Inhibiting the making accessible to a DMP user a modification of a piece of DMP content made by a DMP user who is not the creator [22]

Copyright Owners

In addition, it must allow a range of business models for distributing content, within the constraints of copyright law.

DRM Platform: A framework that enables management of user rights and protection of content under a variety of business models for content usage [Definition of terms for DMP specifications]

Copyright Owners

It must maintain technology companies ability to create a wide range of innovative non-infringing products, and to design, build, and maintain those products efficiently.

[DMP patent policy, to be decided]

Technology Makers

It must maintain the ability to choose between open-source and closed-source development models.

Free Software Compatible: The license grants royalty-free use of patents if the use is for software published under the terms of a Free Software License. [Types of techology licensing]

[DMP patent policy, to be decided]

Technology Makers

It must enable technology makers to come up with robust, interoperable, relatively simple technologies that are fault-tolerant and easy to maintain.

The transfer and use of DMP DRM compliant bitstreams/files between one given DMP DRM compliant DRM implementation and another DMP DRM compliant DRM implementation.[46]

The storage, transfer and use of DMP DRM compliant bitstreams/files on non-DMP DRM compliant devices. [47]

Technolgy Makers

It must maintain access to a wide variety of creative works, both past and present, including both public-domain works and works still protected by copyright.

Continuous access to DMP content by DMP users [10]

Access and use DMP content whose copyright has expired [15]

Citizens/ Ordinary Users

It must maintain access to advancing consumer technology for uses not related to copyright.

Authorised domain: The ensemble of devices, delivery systems and interfaces which are employed under the control of an end-user to use content within and possibly outside of a properly defined environment [Definition of terms for DMP specifications]

Citizens/ Ordinary Users

It must continue to allow for maintain fair use (including time-shifting, space-shifting, archiving, format translation, excerpting, and so on)

Creation of DMP quotes by a user [1]

Space-shifted use of DMP content according to the rules of the place in which it is used [11]

Time-shifted use of DMP content [12]

Transcoding of a piece of DMP content from one format to another [24]

Citizens/ Ordinary Users

...and also must be flexible enough to allow for new, innovative fair uses (e.g., uses of home networking and other kinds of fair use we haven't yet imagined or discovered).

Extensibility of rights expressions and conditions for DMP DRM compliant bitstreams/files such that new, trusted and duly authorized semantics and syntax can be introduced periodically over time. [42]

Citizens/ Ordinary Users