Contract law not copyright law aids copyright owners to protect digital versions of their work. Digital works can be sold subject to contractual terms that restrict the ways in which they can be used. Contract between publisher or owner and purchaser can limit the numbers of people who are allowed to have access to them, the sorts of people who are allowed to have access and the permitted purposes of access. A new business model has emerged as a market driver, the combination of copyright and contractual license governs and regulates access to digitized works using TPM’s. DRM technologies are now being used to order information markets in the digital environment. Book publishers employ techniques to hinder the photocopying of printed material and film distributors use encryption technology to that restricts consumer uses of DVDs. These methods have provided a supplementary role to copyright law, they regulate consumer uses rather than monopoly-destroying communicative acts which was once feared.
Lessig says the lesson in the future will be that copyright is protected far too well. The problem will center not on copy-right but on copy-duty – the duty of owners of protected property to make that property accessible.
Not only can publishers determine how much of their works can be copied, and for what purposes, they can also decide whether or not their works could even be accessed. But of course, contract cannot deliver complete protection to copyright owners in a digital world. The doctrine of privity of contract confines its reach, and copyright still has a role to play in protecting works.
Brands worth Licensing is the key.