UCT CS Research Document Archive

Digital Rights Management - An Overview of current challenges and solutions

Arnab, Alapan and Andrew CM Hutchison (2004) Digital Rights Management - An Overview of current challenges and solutions. In Venter, HS, JHP Eloff, L Labuschagne and MM Eloff, Eds. Proceedings Information Security South Africa (ISSA), Gallagher Estate, Midrand, South Africa.

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Abstract

Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems aim to create a secure framework to control access and actions that can be performed by users (both human and machine). DRM technologies have become very important in an increasingly networked world because it promises the owner of the file persistent control over the file even when the file leaves the owner's machine. It is not only useful in combating piracy (which is currently the main use of DRM systems) but also for protecting sensitive documents in enterprises.

DRM systems can be seen to fit at various levels on a computer system - at an application layer, which is currently seen in applications like Apple iTunes; at an operating system level like Microsoft's Rights Management System (RMS) in Windows Server 2003 or at a hardware level like Content Scramble System (CSS) in DVD players. However, current DRM systems are mostly not interoperable and in most cases either do not provide the all requirements expected by the customer or do not provide a totally secure framework.

DRM systems that are used for copyright enforcement give rise to many legal questions mostly revolving on the amount of control the copyright holder has over their creations once they have been distributed. Many of the legal questions do not affect DRM systems for enterprises, but most of the technical requirements are the same.

This paper gives a broad overview of the current state of DRM systems and their strengths and weaknesses. It starts by examining the legal requirements of the system to satisfy both the right holders and the end consumers. We then discuss the structure of DRM systems, their characteristics and how well they satisfy the legal requirements. Finally we review three DRM systems and look at how well they satisfy the requirements desired in a DRM system.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:DRM, Digital Rights Management, REL, Rights Management
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
ID Code:139
Deposited By:Arnab, A
Deposited On:15 July 2004