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J. Marques1, C. Serrao2

Despite the existence of legal and technological measures on rights protection the correct balance between fair use and content protection must be found but this has been shown a hard task essentially because copyright systems are thus moving in the direction of a legal and technical overprotection for right holders, which threatens the exercise of copyright exemptions. The challenge for the future is to achieve a workable balance between the interests, where TPMs enforce simultaneously the protection of content and the exercise of the exemptions. However, applying protection measures enables technological mechanisms that could inhibit the access to content.

The usage of rights management in Academic environments is different from other sectors. Legal copyright exemptions on educational field establish a very special environment where the spirit of sharing and reuse challenges the limits of law. The methods and technologies required to support this special environment are not the same as the commercial one. Here the author only wants to preserve his authorship holding the attribution right and content integrity. Selecting a particular technique depends on the content type, usage environment and application needs, and some degree acceptance and tolerance to an inappropriate use of content.

In educational field, where users follow “fair use”/exemptions doctrine, we have to apply the correct mix of techniques/tools in order to reach a satisfactory rights control level. Some studies on TPM pointed that end user acceptance and high costs as reasons to avoid hard restrictions. These are good reasons when establishing a favorable environment to all players but also applying soft measures could be a good deal in this special environment. Applying these special types of measures introducing some inconveniences and inhibitions but allowing an acceptable access/usage content, could establish an acceptable rights usage control at educational field, obviously with some acceptable constraints on user side.

Rights management system considers in advance that every user in not trustworthy, but users have some rights expressed on copyright exemptions/”fair use” laws. Trusting users is an essential part of the process in the area of Intellectual property. In educational field, where copyright exemptions/”fair use” is the main doctrine the usage of TPM is still controversial and its application has to weight the complex pros and cons of solutions where these technologies are applied. Academic Rights Management System (ARMS) is a web platform oriented to distribute knowledge based content targeted at both creators/authors and rights holders whose content (PDF type) are not currently seen to have enough financial value. Target to content holders, which will benefit by distributing their content through, ARMS benefits essentially teachers and researchers as well librarians mandated to put content online. ARMS apply soft restriction measures on content usage and establish a new paradigm in the sense they don’t classify users in advance as non trustworthy permitting content exemptions/"fair use" usage under an acceptable rights content control level. Annoyances on user experience are the price to pay for this. On the other side the author delivers some control on content protection. The balance of interests for users and creators/authors in this special educational environment could be achieved, obviously with some acceptable constraints on both sides.