The Truth about Digital Rights Management

By Dykstra, Gail | Information Today, November 2002 | Go to article overview

The Truth about Digital Rights Management


Dykstra, Gail, Information Today


Report from the Field

This SIIA panel discussion looked at DRM's role in the content market

Content-business insiders filled the audience for "The Truth About Digital Rights Management," a crowded brown-bag lunch session held on September 19 in New York by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). Moderator Lee Greenhouse kicked off the 90-minute panel discussion by promising the participants "a moment of influence and, if not the whole truth ... some of the truths of DRM."

Attendees weren't looking for the revelatory "truth" about DRM. Hype and posturing weren't needed. This was a knowledgeable group that included representatives from content and technology companies, consultants, lawyers, and venture capitalists. They came to hear the word on the street about DRM's application to content-revenue and customer models.

Greenhouse organized a lively and engaging session. He brought together four articulate panelists who are in a position to know the economics of DRM in the content business. Discussion and opinions flowed easily between them as they responded to Greenhouse's probing questions. The panelists were Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive, a leading e-book service company; Chris North, vice president and general manager of electronic publishing at HarperCollins; Bill Rosenblatt, president of Giant Steps Media and co-author of the Wiley-published Digital Rights Management: Business and Technology; and Bahar Gidwani, CEO of Index Stock Imagery, one of the largest digital stock-image-licensing companies.

E-Books and DRM

North was introduced by Greenhouse as the "poster child of e-books." North explained: "We took our time to get into the market. HarperCollins now has 10 percent of the e-book market share and we are seeing a 15 to 20 percent growth per month in sales of e-books." He added, "HarperCollins e-books include bestsellers from our publishing list, including Nobel Prize-winning authors, self-help books, sex, and mysteries."

North continued: "The reality of DRM in e-books is that it is built into the hardware, and third-party DRM solutions are irrelevant in our business. DRM can be summed up in one sentence: Use as little of it as possible. Even pretty good DRM needs to get better."

For example, customers want and need more "activations" per e-book content purchase. Activations allow readers to access the content on more than one device. Using the example of Microsoft's four activations per e-book reader, North said even that wasn't enough for most customers. E-- book buyers are early adopters. They have lots of devices and want to be able to use their e-books as they move between their home PC, office desktop, laptop, pocket PC, and wireless units.

"We don't have a technology problem. We need to put consumers in the driver's seat," North said. Technology turns off buyers when it makes the purchase difficult. Consumers have definite expectations about using, printing, and copying. The challenge for content providers is to take the longer view and create a market solution that makes the product as easy to use as possible.

Who Pays?

"Good control costs money. Publishers have regained their nerve and are charging for content. What haven't evolved are the new business models," said Greenhouse in his introduction. Rosenblatt emphatically concurred in his remarks: "Implementing new business models in the consumer space is hard."

Who will pay for the development of DRM technology and the experimentation with business models? "It is anathema to content companies to subsidize DRM solutions," said Rosenblatt. "Consumer devices and DRM are not going hand in hand." Neither content nor consumer-device manufacturers will pay for implementing DRM in under-$200 consumer devices.

Technology is going to outstrip, outdevelop, and outsmart all rights-management strategies. But most people aren't looking for a way to cheat-they're looking for a way to comply with reasonable business practices and pricing models. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Truth about Digital Rights Management
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.