The Digital Media Project


Philip Merrill


TRU #66 to restrict time of use





Philip Merrill

Affiliation/additional information:

Active Contributor, Pasadena, California

Date submitted:







Name of TRU

Right to restrict time of use


Summary description of TRU

creator's right to specify time restrictions on when their creations are to be consumed, for example a restriction could apply authorising only late-night performance of material unsuitable for minors or for example Christmas songs that sell only during that holiday season; significant mainly as having affected the analogue past of TRU reproduction thus conditioning economic aspects within which Middle-men tried to "game" the system


Use records of TRU

Because time is a part of everything we do, any time restrictions forced on End-users by media create very significant limitations. TRU political freedom could potentially be hurt by many restrictive practices that could be based on time formulas for when certain media could be consumed. Note however that acceptable time formulas are feasible, such as the analogue usage of "media exploitation chronology" covered at TRU lending and TRU rental in which distribution methods of differing media types cascade in sequence.

Basically, because of the way TRU distribution works, first publication remains a meaningful point during which a creator is expected to be allowed the maximum control over how their final release is commercially 'shared' with the world. After that, things get a little looser. For example, some VHS or DVD copying could be private, once a movie was "out of the theaters" or if someone wanted to scan a book and make their own private PDF of it. As more and more time passes after publication/release, greater latitude is given for something much like fair use, for example U.S. first sale doctrine (GIC 5.5.I.4).

With regards to TRU time-shift, this means time-shifting usully enjoys wider latitude as time passes beyond the commercial window of first publication (although news could very well be the opposite of this rule). Since that is the solution, the remaining questions for DMP mostly regard specifics of what is allowed when. Unnecessary restrictions seem worth avoiding, since why make life hard?


Nature of TRU

Analogue restriction, de facto when it occurs.


Benefits of TRU



Possible digital support

Although there might be many opportunities for which it was possible to support authorial restrictions of time, it should be noted that these could interfere with privacy and TRU political freedom.

Clearly some restriction could be made that DMP DM was to be consumed on DMP-compatible devices, which consequently could support several kinds of time restrictions.

Note possibility of supporting types of entertainment predicated on time-restriction, such as daily prayer or study curricula.

In many ways, support for this TRU is entirely a matter of REL granularity, that is to say that access restrictions should be sufficiently fine-grained to give creators good alternatives to choose from.

Note one possible example of support for this TRU is described in the DMBM template for a Location-Based Entertainment NetKiosk.



DMP shall support configurable restrictions on when content is consumed.