Sunday, December 10, 2006

iLiad and De Tijd eNewsPaper (5)

During the iLiad trial, the ePaper project DuistriNet was launched; basically it investigated the management of digital usage rights. The press release starts with the statement that Digital Rights Management is the main challenge for publishers. The research focussed among other things on the right to read tye news paper for a certain time. DRM systems can set a time limit for readers. In practice it means that a reader can be granted permission to read the newspaper for 24 hours after which deadline the edition deletes itself.

The press release is unclear about the area of DRM. I take it that it DRM as protection has been of the entire edition has been the subject of study. I guess that the researchers have not looked into saving for example a series with instalments; saving the articles of an series, could have been a marketing exercise. I was wondering whether the advertisers had also been involved ion this part of the study. Of course they could have experimented with an offer for a limited period.
DRM has developed since 1996 for text products. So far protection has been the main driever in the usage of it. The marketing facilities have hardly been experimented with on a large scale in emagazines, enewspapers and ebooks. From this experiment the newspaper publishers can conmclude that it seems more efficient to reuse generic DRM building blocks, and it is unrealistic to dream of a single ‘complete’ DRM system.


IBBT ePaper Project – DistriNet
In the context of the ePpaper project, the DistriNet research group of the K.U.Leuven has realized a study that investigates how to extend the software platform of the publisher in order to facilitate management of digital usage rights.

What is digital rights management?
Managing and enforcing digital usage rights (Digital Rights Management or DRM) is a complex task to achieve – think for instance of illegal downloading of mp3 music files from the Internet.
DRM systems allow for instance to specify a usage model that enables consumers to read a digital news paper for an indefinite period of time, but only on a specified set of devices. DRM techniques make use of digital watermarks that identify the consumer what enables to trace abusers.

Main challenges for publishers
It is, by consequence, crucial for publishers like De Tijd to ensure protection of copyrights associated with digital content of high commercial value. Such content should only be consumed as prescribed by the subscription of the consumer.
Given the rapid evolution of DRM technologies, it is not preferable and still too early to decide once and for all which DRM technology is most suited to be integrated in the ICT platforms of the publisher. By consequence, publishers do not want, and cannot bind to one specific DRM technology.

DistriNet contribution
DistriNet has analyzed the design of current DRM systems. Many of them support the same or similar features next to a number of specific extensions. It seems more efficient to reuse generic DRM building blocks, and it is unrealistic to dream of a single ‘complete’ DRM system. Combining is the key message.

Based on this analysis, DistriNet has designed a software architecture that isolates common building blocks and that documents how they can cooperate. This study has resulted in a blueprint for DRM systems that facilitates to compose DRM systems from available software components. The proposed software architecture has been further refined to support the development of proof-of-concept prototype implementations.

Tags: iliad, irex, e-book, e-ink, e-reader, newspaper

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Blog Posting Number: 599

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