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Title: Towards a notion of 'balance' in digital rights management
Author: Zhang, Yulin.
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is directed towards using game theory to elucidate, and hopefully help resolve, underlying tensions in the legal aspects of digital rights management (DRM) systems. These systems are ec.onomically very important yet controversial, having become a battle field between the information industries and the individual user due to their ability to alter the legal landscape: that is, by changing the balance between public interest (cultural progress) and private interest (economic development). Both public and private interests are, I argue, necessary for the benefit of society and therefore the importance of 'balance' between them can clearly be seen. Unfortunately the nature of just what this 'balance' is, though often mentioned in copyright writings and judgments, has been rarely discussed to sufficient degree. Understanding the concept of 'balance' can help to offer guidelines in answering the question of whether or not any particular suggested distributive solutions are fair to all affected groups. Also, understanding the concept can as a catalyst to move an outcome from being an inefficient to an efficient solution. Based upon an 'envy-free contribution' towards predicting the efficient balance, I apply game theory in a novel manner to the DRM problem in order to infer what the optimal balance is in the debates over DRM. My goal is to provide game-theoretic insight for lawyers and policy makers which might help them avoid a zero-sum solution and instead to create a win-win outcome for all parties. This game-theoretic analysis of the DRM legal controversy can help broaden our minds because it suggests that what is most important in a legal argument is not that one side wins the judgment but that a solution where both sides have won something - that is 'a balance' results - offers a more rational outcome, so far as the needs of society are concerned. The traditional analysis ofDRM has, I argue, become mired in ideology and is of little help in resolve the underlying legal problems. Conversely, game theory's implicit acceptance that one must respect and accommodate a rival's different values is exactly what is needed to deal with all arguments in question.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available