Circumventing Competition: The Perverse Consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The CATO Institute has released a new study that concludes that the DMCA hinders innovation. The study expresses deep concern with the government interference into digital rights management techniques.

CATO's motto seems to be "individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace", suggesting that people who have Conservative MPs should be informing their MP about this study as it will fairly closely align with the values of the Conservative government.

A very important quote from the document, page 8:

To be effective, a DRM scheme must prevent unauthorized devices from "interoperating" with it. Because unauthorized devices are not bound to enforce the rules of the DRM system, the designers of a DRM system cannot afford to allow them access to protected content. By definition, then, any product that achieves interoperability against the wishes of the creator of another product is "circumventing" the DRM scheme.

It discusses this in the context of exceptions to anti-circumvention rules for the purpose of "identifying and analysing those elements of [a] program that are necessary to achieve interoperability", noting that the opposing goals of interoperability and DRM cannot be reconciled.