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.

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

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Mike "TheZorch" Haney (profile) says:

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.

Alan says:

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.

chris (profile) says:

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.

Mark says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Cleverboy (user link) says:

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.

Stu says:

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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