Time is Coming for Digital Rights Management

New types of B2B transactions made possible by digital rights

management (DRM) could revolutionize not only ecommerce but also all

aspects of ebusiness.

DRM enables information owners to define commercial rules, such as

pricing and length of use, and protects and manages content after it is

forwarded. Thus, owners can control their digital content in previously

unavailable ways. The content is not only secured but also available to

be merchandized.

Figure 1

Worldwide Digital Rights Management Market, 2000-2005 ($B)

http://www.idc.com/ebusinesstrends/images/issues/ebt20010920g1.gif

New revenue opportunities, business models, and content/pricing models

become possible, including subscription, transaction, tiered offerings,

pay as you go, and pass along (also described as "super distribution")

and incentive-based multilevel marketing.

The demand and ability to leverage existing content in new revenue-

generating ways will drive the growth of the DRM market, according to

The DRM Landscape: Technologies, Vendors, and Markets (IDC #24891, June

2001).

IDC expects significant growth in DRM use across a variety of vertical

and horizontal market segments as DRM becomes incorporated into

Internet infrastructure. Vendors will integrate DRM capabilities into

hardware devices and software products designed for content creation,

storage, distribution, and rendering.

Explosive Growth

The worldwide market for DRM software and software-derived services

should jump from $96 million in 2000 to $3.57 billion in 2005, with a

robust 106.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) (see Figure 1).

There are four primary market drivers for DRM:

* Intellectual property (IP) protection

* New revenue opportunities

* Protection of privacy and confidentiality

* Competing standards

B2B uses of DRM are moving to the fore and represent perhaps the most

significant market for such technology. In the B2B world, one of the

main goals of DRM is to allow businesses to safely contract

electronically business that formerly would have involved paper.

Examples of this include:

* Contract rights management. A software system used to describe

and manage stakeholder rights and payment terms and conditions

for digital media assets.

* Financial clearinghouse services. Software and services for

clearing DRM-generated financial transactions and managing simple

DRM-related royalties.

* Tamper proofing. Tamper-proofing technologies that secure a

digital content viewing or playback environment from unauthorized

access through various means in accordance with dictated rights.

DRM Goals and Markets

DRM technology is used for several different goals and is relevant to

many different business and consumer markets. The four main uses of DRM

are:

* Commercial use. Protecting the monetary value of digital content

by shielding it from unauthorized use and copying, as well as

enforcing payment terms associated with its authorized use.

* Privacy. Ensuring the privacy of information to protect it from

unauthorized use, to govern the way it may be used on an

authorized basis, and possibly to record when and how it is used.

* Intellectual property (IP) protection. Protecting IP without

either the notion of sales or the privacy attached to it.

* Integrity. Preserving the original state of digital content --

guaranteeing that it is neither altered nor retouched, but

strictly original.

With DRM, ebusiness has a new addition in its toolkit.

Related Research

http://www.idc.com/ebusinesstrends/ebt20010920home.stm#RelatedResearch

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