Digital Rights Management, Evaluation of Existing Systems

The aim of this report is to examine if existing Digital Rights Management systems are useful and satisfying to the consumer, copyright owner and distributor. If not, is it possible to design a useful and satisfying Digital Rights Management system?

During the past few years, copyright owners of music, movies and other media have seen how piracy has increased with the introduction of affordable broadband technology. Record and movie corporations have pushed for a solution to piracy and one of them is Digital Rights Management. They want their customers to pay for and then enjoy the digital media but at the same time protect the rights of the copyright owner.

That is what Digital Rights Management is all about; protect the copyright owner while allowing the consumer to enjoy their digital media. Digital Rights Management can restrict the users rights to copy and transfer the contents to other devices as well as restrict the number of times a user is allowed to use the media.

The present DRM systems are focusing on preventing digital media from being freely distributed by limiting the ability to copy or move the media. This puts limitations on fair use such as making personal copies of music. Copyright owners and distributors want more consumers to discover DRM, but so far, the consumers have shown little interest.

This report is based on various resources on the Internet such as white papers on Digital Rights Management, our own experimentation and on Microsoft Media Rights Management SDK documentation. We do not believe it is possible to design a DRM system that consumers, copyright owners and distributors are satisfied with. It is not possible to combine the demands of copyright owners and the consumers’ claims of fair use.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Burström, Anders | Callander, Jonas

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