Digital Rights Conference Brings Together Industry Leaders

What: “The Law and Technology of Digital Rights Management,”
A three-day conference at the University of California, Berkeley bringing together leaders from the business industry, the non-profit sector, government and academia.

Conference panelists will address the legal, technological, and public policy concerns spurred by digital rights management systems – the technological codes built into music CDs, movies on DVD, home computers, digital televisions, stereo equipment and portable devices to protect copyrights, restrict use, or track consumer use of products. Panelists will discuss recent developments and debate the future of content protection, fair use policies and consumer privacy.

The conference is being hosted by several centers and programs at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) and the campus’s School of Information Management & Systems All tickets to the event have been sold out, however reporters who register in advance of the event are welcome. Audio and video webcast of the conference will be available on the conference Web site,

When: Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, March 1.

Where: Various locations on and near the UC Berkeley campus.

Program Details:

Thursday, 1:00 pm. – 5:30 p.m.
Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way, near the intersection of College and Bancroft avenues.
Leading technologists from Microsoft and SRI International will explain the technology behind digital rights management and Prof. Pam Samuelson will review the current legal and public policy questions that are prompting debate.

Friday, 8:45 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Andersen Auditorium, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Panel discussions on how digital rights management systems are used to create new business opportunities; DRM’s impact on innovation, marketplace competition, and network security; the impact of DRM on the way information flows in the digital environment; and the impact of DRM technologies on consumers in terms of copying, privacy, etc.

Participants will include leaders from Hewlett Packard; Microsoft; the Recording Industry Association of America; Intel; IBM; Verizon; the Association of American Publishers; RealNetworks, Inc.; and academics from UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Princeton University, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, and Boston College.

Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – noon.
Bancroft Hotel
Keynote address by U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), who introduced a bill last year that would revise the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to strengthen consumer usage rights.

Panel discussion on legal and policy issues including panelists from the Motion Picture Association of America; the Los Angeles Times, the Federal Trade Commission, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, Business Software Alliance; as well as academics from the University of Texas, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Chicago.

Background: The conference is sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at Boalt Hall; UC Berkeley’s School of Information Management & Systems; the Berkeley Technology Law Journal at Boalt Hall; the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at Boalt Hall; the Center for Innovation Law at the University of Toronto; and Bell Labs at the University of Toronto.

This is the first conference of its kind bringing together leaders from a cross-disciplinary and cross-industry perspective. It is designed to educate professionals about these issues and facilitate communication. The conference is also designed to further understanding of the laws and policy issues that surround this topic. A full list of speakers is available at

The conference has already generated a great deal of interest with a sell-out audience of more than 300 people, including Washington policy-makers, top executives, and leading scholars from around the world.

Particularly newsworthy participants include RealNetworks, which just launched a new streaming product that incorporates DRM ; Microsoft, which is preparing the next version of their operating system embedded with DRM; Panelist Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA, who will discuss in the future of the recording industry’s content protection efforts; Verizon, defendant in a lawsuit in which a judge ordered the release of the names of individual Internet users of the Verizon network who are accused of copyright infringement; Edward Felten, a computer science professor at Princeton who was threatened with a lawsuit under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for presenting his cryptography research paper on the weaknesses in the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), a proposal by the recording industry for a computer platform for music that would prevent copying and other potential uses.

A list of resources that will help reporters familiarize themselves with these issues is available at


Note to Reporters: News media wishing to cover the conference must register for a complimentary press pass at Reporters must have valid press credentials. Flash photography may not be used during the lecture. An interview room will be available throughout the conference.

For more information on media accommodations contact Erin Campbell at Boalt Hall, 510/643-8010. For additional information on the conference program contact Eddan Katz at the School of Information Management and Systems (510) 642-2231 or