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Contributing Writer

Digital Rights Management 101

Apr 10, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsIntellectual Property

* DRM can have profound effect on way your enterprise data is used

We’ve discussed often in this forum the importance of digital rights management. It can’t be overstated. If you want to protect your company’s intellectual property you need to beef up the management of how that information is accessed, distributed and stored.

Network World has just put together an audio primer that takes you step by step through the stages of DRM. As my colleague Multimedia Editor Jason Meserve puts it, “DRM is more than just protecting movies and music. When implemented correctly, it can have a profound effect on the way enterprise data is used and shared.”

He adds: “The premise behind DRM is relatively simple: An individual is given rights to a piece of content based on certain conditions. For instance, you may be allowed to view a file once, view a file for a set period of time, or view a file on a particular machine or device. The content, if stored locally on a user’s machine, is usually encrypted so it cannot be accessed without the proper authentication or electronic key.”

Meserve unveils 10 things to consider when implementing DRM solutions, including how to consolidate systems so that you aren’t managing a myriad of systems for each data type.

He explains that you need to survey your network ahead of time to see what types of data formats you are supporting. Then choose a DRM package that addresses all those formats. Trying to manage multiple systems will just cause more headaches.

You also must think about rules for accessing content inside and outside of your corporate firewall. This involves whether users will have to enter passwords each time they try to view a file.

If you are involved in any aspect of protecting intellectual property in your enterprise, I recommend that you listen to this primer. You can find it, as well as more information about digital rights management, at