Golden Times for Digital Rights Management?
Music, books and video can be distributed very cost effectively over the Internet to end consumers. As bandwidth capacity is growing and getting cheaper, the economics is so clearly on the side of digital distribution that distribution of digital goods on the Internet will surely happen. Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology makes it possible to manage all the intellectual property aspects of electronic distribution and also the exchange of value for receiving digital goods. Thus it is a key component of any electronic marketplace for information goods. In this paper I will point to some of the reasons that digital distribution (and thereby DRM) will be successful in a mass market; point to some common misconceptions about DRM; argue that we have most of the core technology for an attractive, yet still reasonably secure, DRM system in place; and discuss how security and privacy features can and should be implemented.
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