A skeptical view of DRM and fair use

Edward W. Felten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The issue of effectiveness of digital rights management (DRM) technologies, which allow users to view and manage content in a controlled fashion, is discussed. The vagueness of the fair use test makes it essentially impossible to create a DRM system that allows all fair uses. To be correct, such a system would have to apply the four-factor fair use test to each attempted use of a work. Accurate, technological enforcement of the law of fair use is far beyond today's state of the art and may well remain so permanently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science

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