I'd Love To Share My Title, But The DRM Won't Let Me

from the think-twice dept

Even if the entertainment industry could make a case that DRM prevents piracy (it doesn't), there's no question that insisting on the use of DRM has created an unpleasant situation for consumers, fraught with confusion and incompatibility. In light of this, companies should probably think very hard about how they implement DRM-like solutions on company documents. There's obviously a need to restrict who gets access to important documents. There are several solutions, for example, that attempt to ensure that only the intended recipient of an email can read the message, and the ongoing data leaks demonstrate the need for better data handling, and possibly more encryption. There is of course the use of .pdf files, also, which attempt to impose restrictions on the use of documents. Clearly, in some instances, it makes sense to heavily lock down a document, like when it's meant for very few people, but to aggressively take an across-the-board DRM approach runs the risk diminishing productivity, by making things like collaboration and corporate search more difficult. Put another way, would anyone like to see knowledge exchange hamstrung the same way that music is? Unfortunately, since there are still many out there who think that DRM is a solution to preventing piracy, many will be convinced that it is the answer to ensuring the integrity and privacy of documents.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Lee Allison, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 11:22am

    DRM

    That's the one thing that most people who implement DRM never really address: What happens if you lose the key server or the files or.. well... just about any 'critical' piece of the DRM system? Most likely outcome is that you're screwed and can't get into that document. Lovely.


    Lee Allison
    http://ev-blog.blogspot.com/

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Mike "TheZorch" Haney, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:28pm

    DRM + Document Files = Screw Business

    Yes, if something were to happen to the keys for that DRM the company that impliments such a thing would be in serious trouble. Many companies have gone out of business because they lost all of their documents due to a server crash, fire, or natural disaster. Adding DRM only makes it worse.

     

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  3.  
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    chris (profile), Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:50pm

    using technology to control humans

    the problem with any information security mechanism, beyond digital rights, infosec, or even operational security, is that it all relies on humans.

    you can boost security drastically by taking imperfect and fallible humans out of the equation.

    the only way to secure anything is to not allow it to come into contact with humans.

    no one can steal my novel (because i will never write it), no one can pirate my music (because i will never make it), and no one can leak my plans to save the our company millions (because i will never share them).

    i can sleep at night knowing that my intellectual property is safe and secure, out of the hands of everyone.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Mark, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:53pm

    PGP/GPG signing and encryption can control documents effectively I, and everyone in my department at work, use GPG every day for safegaurding documents and document source verification.

    The drive to create complicated DRM schemes is driven strictly by the expected profits of sellers of DRM software.

    Smart and efficeient organizations will stay far, far away from this software version of bureaucratic red tape.

    Let the dinosaur brains buy and implement DRM. The resulting loss of productivity will make them the losers in the global marketplace.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Turbo3G, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:57pm

    Re: using technology to control humans

    Thats right! Remove the Human variable in the equation!

    I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords!

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Alan, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:11pm

    Re: DRM + Document Files = Screw Business

    "Many companies have gone out of business because they lost all of their documents due to a server crash, fire, or natural disaster. Adding DRM only makes it worse."

    ... Not if the company has a proper disaster recovery solution, which should be included in the DRM, as the backup would hold the same sensitive material.

    I don't see that DRM + Server crash would cause any well-prepared company to go out of business.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: using technology to control humans

    This ain't Slashdot, Turbo3G. We have slightly higher IQs here.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: using technology to control humans

    isn't* ... generally when trying to demonstrate a higher IQ it's better to use words that aren't considered low-brow slang.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:44pm

    Now, about the article

    Why not work on the length you can transfer data over a single fiber optic line without node points and then implement photon encryption?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    I Hate Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 3:22pm

    I get so sick of you chiming in with nothing of relevance. Sometimes you do have good comments, but if you want to be a grammar cop, be a teacher. You're like a little kid jumping up and down trying to be noticed. Arse.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 3:29pm

    Re: I Hate Anonymous Coward

    you do realize that anonymous coward is the default name used when a person doesn't enter anything into the name field under the "add your comment" section... right? is that relevant to your irrelevant temper tantrum?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    w1nX, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 3:43pm

    Re: I Hate Anonymous Coward

    squawk! lmfao

    Mebbe I should implement DRM for "Anonymous Coward"hen - that way it's ALL MINE!!

    I didn't know you could put DRM on .pdf files. Does Adobe get a piece of that pie??

     

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  13.  
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    Cleverboy, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:03pm

    There are many out there who...

    Think than the music industry thinks that DRM prevents piracy. Dodging the political sparring, the intelligent person would realize the obvious... which has been stated publically many times... that the music industry actually knows that DRM is meant to "discourage" and NOT to "prevent". Hence the argument that people feel like criminals because DRM assumes they need the "discouragement" in the first place (RIAA says, "Just helping to keep you honest"). I'd appreciate listening to both sides of this issue more, if people (like the poster) weren't so disingenuous. Buzz Out Loud's Tom Merritt read a listeners sentiments today that mirrored my sentiment on that lack of real discourse. Everyone has so much to lose by admitting the other side has a real point. Suddenly it weakens their resolve. Vicious cycle.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    *.*, Sep 2nd, 2006 @ 4:36am

    DRM ??

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Stu, Sep 2nd, 2006 @ 9:15am

    DRM on .pdf files

    Adobe PDFs have document security of various kinds, such as: password protection and the use certificates. There can be restrictions on viewing, changing text, copying and printing.
    V5 was more flexible than V6 and later because you could restrict many actions without the use of passwords.
    These features are standard in the Acrobat Pro versions. and there is no additional charge for their use.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2006 @ 3:21am

    Re: DRM on .pdf files

    It is true that Acrobat pro offers this password protection but it is really simple to bypass with those freeware programs that no serious company use it anymore.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    AC, Sep 3rd, 2006 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: DRM on .pdf files

    This is very accurate, I occasionally run into a protected PDF file that I cannot split pages from that I must do to accomplish my job. With a freely available .net library I can strip this protection from any pdf i have encountered.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2006 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: I Hate Anonymous Coward

    > you do realize that anonymous coward is the default name used when a person doesn't enter anything into the name field under the "add your comment" section... right? is that relevant to your irrelevant temper tantrum?

    Do you realize sarcasmism when you see it?

    I, ironically, actually go by the name "Anonymous Coward" in daily life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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