p2pnet news view | DRM:- Could it be that DRM will be the saviour of the P2P networks?
That’s always assuming they’re in any danger in the first place, of course.
Microsoft has won a US patent for a distributed DRM system which works over peer-to-peer networks, using encrypted public and private keys as the licensing mechanism, says InformationWeek.
With it, P2P networks could, “reemerge as viable, albeit protected, content sources,” says the story.
Granted yesterday, but filed six years ago, the patent 7,594,275 abstract reads
A public licensing infrastructure (PLI) for a digital rights management (DRM) system is described. In an implementation, a method includes generating a formal license for content. The formal license includes a decryption key for decrypting the content and access rules for accessing the content. A plurality of license authorities is configured to provide a plurality of partial licenses. The plurality of partial licenses is combinable to form the formal license. Each license authority provides a respective partial license.
On the one hand, the story goes on, “the RIAA’s aggressive legal pursuit of song-downloading grandmas squandered the precious little sympathy the record companies might have had. But at the same time, the marketplace essentially moved beyond DRM. Consumers became more sophisticated, and most slowly became inured to the idea they should pay for their music.”
But it wasn’t so much that the market moved beyond DRM, was it? Rather, Digital Restrictions Management never had a chance in the first place because put simply, anything which can be seen or heard can be copied.
Anyway, “a time when peer-to-peer networks reemerge from their current sub-rosa position and become popular, brand, public-facing methods of distributing content” could be on its way, says InformationWeek. And, “When they do, Microsoft may be positioned to reap some serious royalties.”
Here’s how Microsoft describes the peer-to-peer distributed angle, in the “background” section of the patent:
In a conventional DRM system, license acquisition requests are processed by a centralized license server. This makes the centralized license server heavy-loaded, complex, and expensive to run and maintain, and makes it a weak link in the DRM system. For example, failure of the centralized license server may disrupt normal DRM services. Additionally, small content providers, such as a peer in a peer-to-peer network, may not be able to afford the cost of providing and/or utilizing the services of the centralized license server.
Peer-to-peer networks have emerged as a popular way to share large amounts of data, such as by peers downloading songs that are referenced as being available for download through a peer-to-peer website. Most peer-to-peer networks, however, do not have digital rights management or access control. Consequently, peer-to-peer networks can be liable for contributing to the infringement of the copyright in works that are referenced as being available for download by the peer-to-peer networks.
Accordingly, “there is a continuing need for a distributed public licensing infrastructure for digital rights management systems,” it adds.
As surfer once summed it p, DRM Doesn’t Really Matter and on top of that, it’s Dumb, Really Moronic.
And as Sony boss Howard Stringer, who`s never been able to live down the rootkit spyware scandal, has regretfully admitted, DRM was a big mistake —- We can no longer say that we`re right and our customers are wrong.”
No need to stay tuned.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
InformationWeek – Microsoft DRM Patent Could Revive Peer-to-Peer Music Nets, September 22, 2009
Dumb, Really Moronic – DRM is Dead, Part Duex, July 21, 2009
big mistake – DRM a big mistake, admits Sony boss, May 14, 2009
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