Digital Rights Management: A New Trend or a Necessity

Digital Rights Management: A New Trend or a Necessity

Ioannis Kostopoulos (University of Patras, Greece)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-118-6.ch002
OnDemand PDF Download:


This chapter highlights the need for using copyright protection tools in our digital transactions. The main tools of copyright protection, such as cryptography, data hiding, and watermarking, along with the security framework where these tools can be used is also presented. However, all these tools and methods can be used only inside a specific technological and legal framework. This gap between technology and traditional human activities is bridged by developing the Digital Rights Management systems which is presented as a necessary mechanism to provide integrated e-services over the Internet. The legal framework and the current activities of organizations as WIPO (World Intellectual Property Rights Organization) is also provided in this chapter with the existing DRM technologies and the future research directions in this field
Chapter Preview


The spreading of internet and web technologies during the last years has leaded the world to technological infrastructures where the information can be exchanged freely and rapidly. The content providers are investing to new ways of making profits and offering new services concerning their digital products. The internet and its evolution was the best vehicle for the content providers to offer their services world wide. However, in contradiction with the traditional ways of copying where each copy of the original work has reduced quality, the digital information can be copied perfectly and every copy will be identical with the original one (Lyon, 2001). Moreover, the services that have been used today over the internet are giving the opportunity to spread these copies in all over the world, without geographical limitations.

Although www has imposed a tremendous change in the way of thinking, reducing the actual value of information, the digital content is still valuable and it should be protected. The protection of intellectual rights of digital content is concerned to be one of the big problems (CSTB, 1999; Crawford, 1999) of the digital age. Digital Rights Management Systems (DRM) (Duhl & Kevorkian, 2001) in addition with security measures (Cohen, 2003; Ingemar et al., 2002; Wipro Technologies, 2001) is essential for the protection of digital property. DRM systems (Heng, 2001, Renato, 2001a, Renato, 2001b; DCITA, 2003; Schmidt et al., 2004) are already in use to prevent people abusing information that is copyright protected. Most of the current solutions provide external applications to ensure data protection management (Russ, 2001). The current trend though, is to provide embedded applications and not external. This can be done in three ways:

  • Hardware-embedded DRM systems

  • DRM tools attached on the operating system

  • Development of DRM functionality controllers embedded to the operating system

A Digital Right Management mechanism is needed, so as to produce an integrated protection and management framework, able to diminish the possibilities of inappropriate usage and unauthorised copying. That’s where Digital Right Management (DRM) systems are focused. Right’s management is a necessity, because the term combines all those techniques and methodologies aiming to define and model actions, dealings and violations of intellectual rights.


In the beginning of the third millennium, the use of digital means has become an inseparable piece of everyday life. Digital photography, video, medical images, satellite images, sounds etc. are some indicative examples. In many cases digital objects are intended to be published, either on the internet or in widely used mediums. Organizations, museums, digital libraries, need to protect their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on this kind of media.

In the past, the scientific community along with commercial organizations has invested in order to find reliable methods to protect digital media. During the last decade digital watermarking, based on the idea of information hiding, originally introduced in the 5th century BC (Katzenbeisser & Petitcolas, 2002), gave a solution to the problem of designing such mechanisms to protect media.

This chapter is providing information about the currently used technologies in order to protect the digital content (Documents, images, videos, sound, graphics etc.) from unauthorized use, along with the technologies that detect the unauthorized use (Qiong et al., 2003; Lyon, 2001). These technologies are considering a variety of tools that related both with software and hardware. More specifically these tools focused on:

  • Security and integrity of operational systems.

  • Cryptography.

  • Data hiding and digital watermarking techniques.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Athanasios Skodras
Dimitrios Tsolis, Lambros Drossos, Spyros Sioutas, Theodore Papatheodorou
Chapter 1
Alfredo M. Ronchi
“Creativity is one of the highest forms of human energy. It is a defining human trait that enables us to design and use tools, while giving us the... Sample PDF
Intellectual Property Rights
Chapter 2
Ioannis Kostopoulos
This chapter highlights the need for using copyright protection tools in our digital transactions. The main tools of copyright protection, such as... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management: A New Trend or a Necessity
Chapter 3
Image Watermarking  (pages 56-70)
Nikos Tsirakis
This chapter describes image watermarking, the most common and widespread category of media files are images. The evolution of the Internet and the... Sample PDF
Image Watermarking
Chapter 4
Alessandro Piva, Roberto Caldelli, Alessia De Rosa, Mauro Barni, Vito Cappellini
The need to safeguard the property rights of multimedia content from unauthorized copying and the possibility to determine the true owners of the... Sample PDF
Watermarking Techniques for DRM Applications
Chapter 5
V. E. Fotopoulos, I. D. Kostopoulos
This chapter introduces JPEG 2000 as an application field for image authentication and the new technology of digital image watermarking. The new... Sample PDF
Watermarking and Authentication in JPEG2000
Chapter 6
Evanthia Tsilichristou
The basic principle of watermarking is the addition of the watermark signal to the host data that we wish to watermark. The addition is taking place... Sample PDF
Securing and Protecting the Copyright of Digital Video Through Watermarking Technologies
Chapter 7
Nikos Nikolaidis
Intellectual property rights protection and management of multimedia data is essential for the deployment of e-commerce systems involving... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management of Images and Videos Using Robust Replica Detection Techniques
Chapter 8
Shiguo Lian
In this chapter, the digital fingerprinting technology that is used to trace illegal distributors in multimedia content distribution is... Sample PDF
Digital Fingerprinting Based Multimedia Content Distribution
Chapter 9
Tom S. Chan
While delivering content via the Internet can be efficient and economical, content owners risk losing control of their intellectual property. Any... Sample PDF
A Digital Rights Management System for Educational Content Distribution
Chapter 10
Dimitrios P. Meidanis
This chapter investigates intellectual property rights clearance of as part of e-commerce. Rights clearance is viewed as another online transaction... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management and E-Commerce Transactions: Online Rights Clearance
Chapter 11
Dimitra Pappa, Lefteris G. Gortzis
With emerging technologies constantly creating new possibilities for organisations to manage their information resources, this chapter proposes a... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management in Organisations: A Critical Consideration with a Socio-Technical Approach
Chapter 12
Georgios Stilios, Dimitrios K. Tsolis
The issue addressed in this chapter is the design, implementation, and evaluation of a watermarking application, especially focused on the... Sample PDF
An Advanced Watermarking Application for the Copyright Protection and Management of Digital Images of Cultural Heritage Case Study: “Ulysses”
Chapter 13
Andrea de Polo
Digital Rights Management (DRM) describes a set of functionalities which control access to, and the use of, copyright material. In particular, they... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management in the Cultural Heritage Arena: A Truth or a Myth
Chapter 14
Christos Golfinopoulos
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of the legal framework that applies to Digital Rights Management (DRM) information and... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management: A European Law Perspective
Chapter 15
Vagelis Papakonstantinou
DRM systems have been implemented in the past few years by the Content Industry as the panacea against all copyright (and Intellectual Property... Sample PDF
Legal Issues for DRM: The Future
About the Contributors