Digital Rights Management in the Cultural Heritage Arena: A Truth or a Myth

Digital Rights Management in the Cultural Heritage Arena: A Truth or a Myth

Andrea de Polo
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-118-6.ch013
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Digital Rights Management (DRM) describes a set of functionalities which control access to, and the use of, copyright material. In particular, they focus on the acquisition of revenue from copyright material, and the prevention of its re-use and misuse in the online environment. This document describes the DRM system in the cultural heritage sector; the value of the DRMS to the content repositories and also to the end users is described. Managing digital rights is a focal point for any content provider.
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DRM is the necessary building block on which to build online content-trading processes. Every day a vast amount of material is distributed online, through the Internet and private networks. Owners of digital material need to protect their digitized goods without inhibiting their trade. In economic terms, the contribution made by (digital and non-digital) copyright-based goods and services to the Community’s GDP is significant and rising (around 6% of GDP).The aim of a reliable and trusted DRM system should be as follows:

  • 1.

    A trusted photographic licensing and IPR solution

  • 2.

    Third party content providers

  • 3.

    A “trusted” network of providers and users. Trusted because the access will be through a subscription fee and because the end user will have to agree to certain IPR and image usage regulations before entering into the site. A specific IPR image licensing model will be available for download, through the content provider site

  • 4.

    The “standard” DRMS solution described here is related to the “Standard” IPR image licensing form

  • 5.

    The images are watermarked (statically and-or dynamically, on the fly) and by carry on a small visible copyright logo

  • 6.

    The system is monitored remotely by the content provider personnel in order to assure the most reliable usage of the system

  • 7.

    A Web crawler monitor the download of the images and their possible (not legal) usage, after words, on the Web.

The future of internet based solutions for content delivery are further enhanced, beside still jpeg images also by MPEG audio and video through greater choice in the content with which the user can choose to interact. In structured audio books, for example, a specific chapter from a text book can be provided in a specific form.

Business solutions can also be incorporated through the use of DRM, allowing several user types or profiles to co-exist in one revenue stream. At a consumption level, the common user can then specify how that content is delivered and save these preferences for their particular user scenario.

The aim of this document is to define the rule that governs the usage of the images and video shared by content providers. This IPR guideline document is meant to encourage also to use text and other content.

Definition of “DRM”

A system, comprising technological tools and a usage policy, that is designed to securely manage access to and use of digital information. By “technological tools,” we refer to both hardware-based and software-based measures. In the copyright context, these tools are often called “technological protection measures” (“TPMs”) or, simply, “technical measures.” In this report, we distinguish between DRM systems and TPMs: DRM systems often utilize TPMs – the “technological tools” of our definition – as component parts.

The term “TPM” typically refers to technologies that control access to or use of information, or both. A TPM that controls access to information might be as simple as a password protection. More complex access-control TPMs use encryption to regulate access to information by encrypting it and permitting decryption and access only by authorized individuals or devices.

Use-control TPMs control the uses that can be made of a work after an individual accesses it. The most common type of use-control TPM is a copy-control mechanism which regulates or prevents duplication of all or part of a work. Macrovision technology, for example, is a copy-control technology which prevents or distorts copying of Macrovision-protected DVDs.


The Drms And The Content Repositories

The digital rights management system embedded in cultural heritage online sites (mainly stock agencies, galleries, photo archives and content providers) is an important element of the value proposition to content repositories. By protecting the rights of the content owners, it provides the platform whereby revenue can be derived from online virtual access to their important material. Without such a system, the value of having online material is greatly decreased, and is reduced to merely advertising for ‘real’ visits to the institutions which host the source material, or to sell physical prints and copies of images.

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