The World Beyond Digital Rights Management

Jude Umeh

Publisher BCS
ISBN 978-1-902505-87-9
RRP £24.95
Reviewed by John Beaver MBCS CITP
Score 9 out of 10

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The World Beyond Digital Rights Management Digital rights management (DRM) means different things to different people. Intellectual property owners talk about business models which maximise their ability to sell and license their content; technologists on the other hand talk about the mechanisms which encrypt, secure, and transport digital media material.

There is a tendency for these business and technology domains to be treated independently. Indeed, this fragmented approach could be seen as one of the key reasons that many parts of the entertainment and content industries struggle to realise the value of their media assets in the digital environment or - as in the case of the recent closure of to UK markets - a blunt refusal to adapt.

Jude Umeh's book takes a holistic view encompassing both the business and technology arenas and does so with both structure and engagement. Drawing on an evolutionary theory of communication (and becoming perhaps the first ever technology tome to reference the Gutenberg Bible), Umeh places the need for DRM on the development of new technologies which enable the easy transfer of digital assets.

Conversely, he discusses how the failure of large corporations to embrace and exploit these technologies through new business models has led to some unease in the industry.

Umeh succinctly explains how the IT, business models, and standards combine and interact, and how the industry is now maturing to take account of such rapid change. He furthermore outlines the key vendors, products and organisations along with relevant legal actions and mechanisms in major markets.

IT specialists may overlook this book as it is inevitably light on the technical details. But, in fact, Umeh presents a superb example of how technology is developing to fulfil a business requirement, and how it can adapt and innovate to drive transformation and change in an entire industry. 

More information

April 2008