"Fair Use By Design?" Workshop
April 16, 2002
Of expanding significance within the technological landscape are digital
rights management tools. These tools raise a host of complex questions
about the free exchange of information, individual privacy, freedom to
publish and to innovate-questions, in other words, about the impact of
technology on the exercise of legal rights.The workshop will explore the
impact of digital rights management tools specifically on fair use. The
will use short framing presentations to stimulate dialogue among the
participants and audience.
Call For Papers
CFP has traditionally focused on law as an essential instrument in the fight to ensure freedom, privacy, and other important rights and values in light of technological change. But as we are constantly reminded, technology itself influences legal relationships and affects our ability to exercise legal rights and regulate behavior. Increasingly, businesses and governments are stepping up their use of technology to protect their interests. To a lesser but growing degree, individuals too are using technology to protect their freedoms and rights. However, this use of technology may at times be overreaching and abusive. In some instances technology ends by curtailing rights that the law aims to protect; in others, it permits evasion of enforcement for behavior that law proscribes.
Of expanding significance within the technological landscape are digital rights management tools, instruments designed to protect intellectual property in cyberspace by controlling access to digital information. These tools raise a host of complex questions about the free exchange of information, individual privacy, freedom to publish and to innovate-questions, in other words, about the impact of technology on the exercise of legal rights.
This workshop will explore the impact of digital rights management tools specifically on "fair use"-the main public interest exception to a copyright holder's right to control his or her intellectual property. Throughout the course of the day we will develop a working understanding of fair use, discuss its purpose and value in the context of copyright and the First Amendment, and consider the ways in which fair use is affected by digital media. The discussion will focus on the limitations, contextual requirements, and barriers to fair use that are created by digital rights management technology. How can technology enable fair use? How can technology disable fair use? In what contexts-legal, institutional, relational, etc.--might technology best support existing fair use rights? By engaging systems architects, implementers, and hackers along with authorities on the history and policy of technology and copyright, we hope to answer some of these questions and identify technical means of upholding fair use.
Specific questions to consider
- Can technology on its own-i.e., without legal interference-support fair use?
- What capabilities would you find in a system that supports fair use?
- What technological features on their face are antithetical to fair use?
- Are there certain technological features that create a presumption of supporting or undermining fair use?
- What sorts of digital rights management tools are currently in use or available? What sorts might we anticipate in the future? Are these systems capable of respecting fair use?
- Is open source software inherently more likely than closed source to protect fair use?
- Are open standards processes inherently more likely than closed standards to protect fair use?
- What support or challenges does the existing legal environment (national/international) present to technologies that affect fair use?
- Do certain institutions and relationships merit special consideration with regard to digital rights management technologies that may not support fair use?
- How do we motivate businesses to field systems that are inherently protective of fair use, even-or especially-when this may explicitly allow for some non-privileged use?
- How can we encourage users to demand that implementers protect users' rights?
- Arrive at a shared understanding of the issues
- Identify features of digital rights management technology that would interfere per se with fair use.
- Identify features of digital rights management technology that would enable fair use.
- Define some general criteria for evaluating digital rights management systems in terms of implications for fair use.
- Employ the criteria to assess a small number of existing or proposed systems.
- Consider properties that we should build into future digital rights management systems, and devise deployment strategies for building these.
- Develop ideas for non-technical measures that would further efforts to establish a technological infrastructure supportive of fair use.
Structure of the workshop
This is a workshop, not a panel session. It will last several hours, with occasional breaks and refreshments. We will keep careful notes of the session, and we will have various media (whiteboards, overhead projectors, computer monitor projectors, etc.) to facilitate presenting examples, keeping agendas and outlines visible, and so forth. In addition, we will publicize the results of the workshop to encourage others who were not at CFP to become involved in design or implementation of whatever we come up with.
Detailed discussion-whether technical or policy-oriented-will be encouraged. Participants are advised to consider some initial strategies and/or projects before attending. (These may constitute part of the submission for membership; see below for instructions.) This will help to focus the discussion and give us some seed ideas to consider.
Who Should Attend
Primary participants will be representatives of the technical perspective and the policy perspective. They will be programmers, cryptographers, and systems architects-because we intend real systems to be implemented and must know how to do so-and lawyers, librarians, and others immersed in the practical (and conceptual) issues of fair use. However we encourage participation from other disciplines as well. Social scientists can teach the sociological lessons from the past that must inform current fielded systems. Writers who have addressed the intersection of fair use, civil liberties, and technology may offer guidance for architects and implementers on which problems to tackle first. Participatory design and accessibility experts will also have valuable input: Systems are useless if their intended audience can neither understand nor implement them.
Guidelines for Workshop Participation
If you would like to participate in the workshop as an active member, you must submit a short paper or extended abstract on some issue related to the workshop. If you already have a long paper available, by all means point us to it (preferably by giving us a URL), but you must still submit a short paper or abstract in addition.
If you prefer not to submit any work, you may attend the workshop by simply registering and paying for it in the tutorial registration section.
Submissions DUE: December 15, 2001
Submission format: Flat ASCII (plain text) (no HTML or Latex markup, no Word documents, no rich text). You may submit your entry through the electronic submission system on the CFP Web site at http://www.cfp2002.org/cgi-bin/submit?type=fpd by pasting your submission into the form. Alternatively, you may email your submission; instructions for emailing submissions are found on the CFP Web site at http://www.cfp2002.org/participation/subguide.shtml.
Submission length: Short paper (1200 words) or abstract (600 words).
Notification of acceptance: January 15, 2002