Key Challenges in DRM: An Industry Perspective

Brian A. LaMacchia



The desires for robust digital rights management (DRM) systems are not new to the commercial world. Indeed, industrial research, development and deployment of systems with DRM aspects (most notably crude copy-control schemes) have a long history. Yet to date the industry has not seen much commercial success from shipping these systems on top of platforms that support general-purpose computing. There are many factors contributing to this lack of acceptance of current DRM systems, but I see three specific areas of work that are key adoption blockers today and ripe for further academic and commercial research. The lack of a general-purpose rights expression/authorization language, robust trust management engines and attestable trusted computing bases (TCBs) all hamper industrial development and deployment of DRM systems for digital content. In this paper I briefly describe each of these challenges, provide examples of how the industry is approaching each problem, and discuss how the solutions to each one of them are dependent on the others.

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Brian A. LaMacchia
This page last updated: 18 Aug 2008