What is Digital Rights Management?
Control may be applied for purposes including copyright or intellectual property protection, commercial, industrial or military confidentiality, regulatory privacy and regulatory compliance, amongst other functions. In the latter cases rights management solutions typically ensure that duplicate files cannot exits. This ensures that audited documents remain traceable, that the originators of any and all changes can be traced and recorded and that duplicates (or excerpts) do not exist when confidential files are deleted.
Rights Management solutions typically consist of technical protection measures and some type of rights database that determines correct policy or usage for each file and each user. The technical protection system typically comprises a cryptographic layer and a copy protection layer.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 April 2009 16:57 )
The World Wide Web Virtual Library
The WWW Virtual Library (VL) is the oldest catalogue of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the Web itself, in 1991 at CERN in Geneva. Unlike commercial catalogues, it is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert; even though it isn't the biggest index of the Web, the VL pages are widely recognised as being amongst the highest-quality guides to particular sections of the Web.
Where is it?Individual indexes live on hundreds of different servers around the world. A set of catalogue pages linking these pages is maintained at http://vlib.org/. A mirror of the Catalog is kept at East Anglia (UK). The catalogue pages started life on the original web server at CERN, and have been hosted at various locations around the World since then. They moved to a new server in Geneva in 2004, not many kilometres from their first location.
Who runs itEach maintainer is responsible for the content of their own pages, as long as they follow certain guidelines. The central Catalog pages are maintained by the Council of the VL. The VL was first conceived and run by Tim Berners-Lee, and later expanded, organised and managed for several years by Arthur Secret, before it became a formally established association with Gerard Manning as its Council's first chairman. The late Bertrand Ibrahim was a key contributor to the pre-association phase of the VL's development, and then served as its Secretary until his untimely death.
The central affairs of the VL are now co-ordinated by an elected council. The first council took office in Jan 2000, following elections the previous year. Major decisions, including a set of bylaws are decided by the membership at large.
In February 2006 Arthur Secret was elected president of the association. He chairs the new council, which was elected in January 2006. Michael Chapman serves as secretary.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 April 2009 16:58 )
DRM Pros and Cons
The use of digital rights management is controversial. Advocates argue it is necessary for copyright holders to prevent unauthorized duplication of their work to maintain artistic integrity and to ensure continued revenue streams.
Some opponents, such as the Free Software Foundation, maintain that the use of the word "rights" is misleading and suggest that people instead use the term Digital Restrictions Management.
Their position is essentially that copyright holders are attempting to restrict use of copyrighted material in ways not covered by existing laws. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other opponents, also consider DRM systems to be anti-competitive practices.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 May 2009 19:49 )
Whatever happened to DRM?
In the commercial sphere the aim was to allow creators of content to monetize the actual content without the need for conventional redistribution channels. Existing distributors could use it themselves of course but they would need to add value to keep a creative advantage.
In the sense of copy protection of big studio movies and audio there is a sense in which it came too late - even after it was available decision makers failed to lock down their content in a way that was not offensive to users. Belated attempts were heavy handed and offensive to users and failed to pass on price reductions in the distribution channel (and those alleged to accrue due reduced piracy) in order to win over customers. We were told as late as 2000 by the UK's major Venture Capital people that "no-one will ever download music from the internet".
In the broader sense of allowing content creators - individual artists, authors and creatives control of their own creation without recourse to standard distribution channels - crackers soon targeted individual artists and thus killed the concept of artists supported by their works without the need for studio systems, labels or publishers.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 April 2009 13:38 )