LIBR 281 assignment 2 - Caroline Helms - The Alex Edit
LIBR 281 Sec. 110
Digital Rights Metadata
The fast growing industries of digital entertainment and information providers have a
growing concern over protecting their property from being illicitly used online. These owners
want to have their products available for the appropriate audiences while also ensuring protection
from online piracy. A service needs to be available that successfully protects digital property
from copyright infringement while allowing for sale and usage. Digital Rights Management
(DRM) is the service used to legally protect these coveted products. However, a proper metadata
schema must be developed to better manage DRM and those it covers. There has been
controversy concerning the implementation of DRM in the way it collects metadata to ensure
protection. Some users feel this hinders their ability to use and enjoy digital property while
others feel that it limits their ability to claim full ownership of a product they purchased and
therefore feel they should have full access to. There is near universal agreement on Erickson’s
(2003) definition of digital right’s management. DRM is the rights of manufacturers, publishers,
and others to still own digital products after sale. One reason for the existence of DRM is to
protect digital property. Yang and Horng (2006) demonstrate that mechanisms such as
encryption, copy detection systems, digital signature, and information security systems are
aspects of DRM security.
The controversy of implementing DRM into any digital product is shown through
Mullins’ (2009) article. Many court trials have occurred amongst people accused of supposed
digital property theft. Many feel that once the product is purchased, the consumer should be free
to do what they may with it. While consumers want to ability to access their purchases anywhere
at any time and the ability to resell when they are finished, companies see differently. While full
access would be convenient it allows too many opportunities for exploitation of service. Multiple
users could gain access simultaneously without purchase and multiple copies could be sold
illegally. How do you personally sell a digital product so that the original user does not retain
ownership or sell multiple copies? Although this article is many years old, this issue still remains
a hot issue and a constant consideration on the part of consumers and distributors.
Of course, DRM metadata infrastructure cannot have restrictions from being created. It
would make no sense if the metadata structure could not be created for a product because of
copyright! A well-placed infrastructure would have metadata in place. This infrastructure
environment needs to be in place to carefully catalog each product. Yen, Liaw, & Lo (2012)
show in detail what they call the general digital rights management model. Four roles are
introduced in this model: the digital content producer, the content distributor, the content license
broker, and content consumer. Shown in a diamond-like shape, they are all connected in their
dealings with one another. Solutions to modern day issues with DRM can possibly be dealt with
through XML-based Digital Rights Management Languages (DRML) (Damiani & Fugazza,
2007). This is needed to support the news ways in which businesses operate digitally. This deals
in part with the way digital media has evolved. Instead on downloads to view, now downloads to
Paskin (2003) shows DRM metadata covering “resources, parties, licenses and other
entities (digital objects)”. These are just a few of the tags that the metadata can cover. Property
can be controlled and tracked better with a successful metadata in place. Implementation of the
metadata simplifies the tracking of digital products. ODRL is explained by Iannella (2004) as
the metadata terminology used within a digital rights record. The acronym stands for Open
Digital Rights Language. Examples include lease, Accept, WaterMark, Digital Location, and
Industry. These terms among many others explains who has permission for access to the product
as well as how long. Many DRM products might only give the user limited access such as an
eBook rental for a few weeks, after which the product is no longer viewable. Terms such as
Permissions and Constraints also factor in. A permission allows a select audience, such as a
signed in user, to access the digital product indefinitely while a constraint might only allow the
user limited or temporary access, such as with licenses that expire unless renewed. Conditions
would apply to digital information with constraints. This could be access to the product only so
many times or a time restriction such as one-hour usage.
Meeting consumer demands while also protecting digital content could require
adaptability. Lin, Zhang, & Liu (2010) believe that DRM should participate in interoperability in
order to meet the demands of the consumer. Throughout their paper, they purpose a metadata
architecture that allows the importation and exportation of different DRM such as licenses. Their
study goes on further to show how more will be needed to have successful interoperability in
DRM metadata. This model would need to sufficiently meet the demands of consumers and
effectively protect copyright.
Can one system be instituted to properly secure copyright protection? Bechtold (2004)
argues that there can be no single DRM system in place. Copyright is too complex. There are too
many grey areas that one system cannot cover. He explains that the technical language of DRM
used in a legal sense is too complicated to satisfy one system. Multiple systems would need to
be in place.
As can be seen from the various voices within the study of digital rights management,
there is a lot involved in a successful implementation of a DRM metadata schema. Some
products are more restricted than others. Metadata schema needs to be in place that will properly
cover all necessary data. Consumers demand a less intrusive DRM metadata schema be used, but
with so many exploitable areas one must find a way to implement protective measures that do
not appear intrusive by the consumer. The rights of ownership and the copyrights can be
balanced to ensure satisfied consumers of protected content.
Bechtold, S. (2004). Digital rights management in the united states and europe. The
American Journal of Comparative Law, 52(2), 323-382.
Damiani, E., & Fugazza, C. (2007). Toward semantics-aware management of intellectual
property rights. Online Information Review, 31(1), 59-72.
Erickson, J. (2003). Fair use, drm, and trusted computing. Communications of the ACM,
Iannella, R. (2004). The open digital rights language: Xml for digital rights management.
Information Security Technical Report, 9(3), 47-55.
Lin, W., Zhang, N., & Liu, S. (2010). 2010 Third International Joint Conference on
Computational Sciences and Optimization. Piscataway: IEEE.
Mullins, L. (2009). Using metadata to support drm, trading and administration of globally
deployed digital products. Journal of Digital Asset Management, 5(2), 75-82.
Paskin, N. (2003). Components of drm systems identification and metadata. Digital
Rights Management,. Berlin: Springer.
Yang, J. , & Horng, H. (2006). Digital rights management implemented by rdf graph
approach. International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 4(4), 36-55.
Yen, C., Liaw, H. & Lo, N. (2012), Digital rights management system with user privacy,
usage transparency, and superdistribution support. International Journal of Communication
Systems. doi: 10.1002/dac.2431