The copying and distribution of the digital information is now easier. Misuse, violence of Intellectual Property rights and mass piracy are facilitated and revenue loss is made to actual rights holders. In future the new challenges in the areas of Digital Rights Management can be solved by the use of the different approaches of DRM system. Granularity scalability is more used for the direct truncations of the code stream. Tamper resistance approaches and risk management are also described by examining the security and trust in DRM. Different standards are included to identify the rights as an essential component of DRM. Applications of the DRM greatly benefit the business management and consumers by preserving their rights.


The term Digital Rights Management is the description of the systems and procedures which individual and international organization utilizes to track permission status of copyrights attributes of the digital files and accessing the other parameters. The digital rights management can be organized into four categories 1): Rights defining 2): acquiring or distributing the rights 3): rights enforcement and 4): track of usage.

The explosive growth of digital media and internet has given rise to many opportunities and also threats for the content creators.  Digital technology advancement in monetizing the creative works, marketing, disseminating and expanding the new markets which did not exist a few years ago, promised to democratize the manufacturing of new contents for the individuals. However these new technologies have become the cause of many challenges of copyright holders. It seeks the exercise to control the works distribution and defend against piracy.

Brief History

The challenge of the copy rights protection has been apparent long ago. Software developer companies in 1970s to 1980s were aware of that computers can be used to develop the copies of these developed software applications. Almost all software development companies used technologies to prevent the users to make the unlicensed copies of the commercial software. Commercial software vendors produced very powerful and arcane copy-protection strategies along with copy-protection- defeating utilities. The software copies were inherently copy able and alterable and produced problems for the copyright holders. During the same period personal computers created many opportunities for the business software maker companies. Because the beginning microcomputer Apple, IBM PC were free of platforms and vendors were able to develop the new applications on these platforms. Microsoft successfully generated the revenues to meet the consumer's needs with dedicated digital tools. The changes in technology have challenged the copyright laws. Lawyers, legislators and judges framed the protection of author's interests. It was done on the occasion when the copying was not easier and hard to conceal. This provided the way to protect the authors and publishers rights from illicit copy makers.


The recognition of granularity is related with the paradox identity. Among the population the recognition of sameness depends upon the particular sets of attributes of relevant entities. What is granularity? Granularity refers to identify the level of contents detail and qualifier is also added to it. This qualifier is used for identifying the particular purpose. For this purpose the ISBN identifies the whole book, while BICI is used to identify the content of the book. This is not sufficient for the recognition of all rights owners and requires a fine piece of granularity of identification. The degree of granularity to be identified in digital environment becomes arbitrary. Functional Granularity is used to identify the entities when these are distinguished. The concept of metadata is questioned at this stage. The domain: WPIa-006-2.0 requires the clarification about its origin as word document, pdf document or the delivery format of a document. The number of copies downloaded on the other computer or servers may require the identification of contents of that document. A precise locator is required to make the automated linking of references of documents. As the digital file is passed through many preparation stages and each stage requires the exercise of the functional granularity. This is a way to identify the versions and parts when a practical need arises. Application of functional granularity depends upon the factors like resource type, location and time, place, composition, identification and process of creation. The identification of possible parts and versions are not necessary.

Security & Trust

The security and trust in DRM can be examined after the risk management and other tamper resistant approaches are adopted. In human relationship trust is commonly most important and also very critical for the consumer-owner relationship. Software development companies need to establish the trust and confidence in their services and products; while consumers are restricted to protect the privacy and information of those products. DRM applications depend upon the trust of consumers. The DRM technology and processes make the DRM components more trustworthy. The trust model of DRM is different from the cryptographic model where a secret key is owned by the two parties and third party hacker intercepts to recover the information. The trust model of DRM covers the trust of end user in a shared secret key and unencrypted data and distinguishing the honest and dishonest users is not an easy task.

Security: The main purpose of the DRM system is to protect the contents persistently so the contents cannot be distributed and used illegally. The content need to be protected when delivering to users and must be maintained the usage rights after the delivery of product. The security level of DRM system does not only grant the digital license to users but the security and protection of contents is too maintained. It is ensured that contents of products are only accessible to authorized and authenticated persons. It is also optimistic to claim that DRM systems are deployed by the use of risk management with security compromises. The philosophy being this approach is to identify the threat to DRM system.

Tamper Resistance: On a malicious host the trusted software runs to prevent the illegal users from the tampering of the entitlement functions rights of the DRM based application. The use of the tamper resisting technologies makes the difficult for the hackers to hack the systems. On this level both hardware and software tamper resistant approaches i.e. code obfuscation, code encryption and self-modifying code etc.

Standards & Providers

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The standardization of DRMs is essential factor to roll out the digital equipments required to handle the copyrights files. The versioned contents are proportional to available contents media players. When coding is not standardized the contents and versions are dedicated to their limited range. These standards are very critical for the roll-out of digital networks. Most symbolic Internet protocol, many standards of content coding like MPEG2, pdf, JPEG and MPEG4 are used widely for the consensus of software development, contents and equipments. Digital encoding standards are adopted for the specific mechanisms. Electronic eBook eXchange (EBX) develops the open, free standards for the secure and safe distribution of the e-books among the rights holders, users and intermediaries. The EBX controls the authentication at high level along with accountability and auditing. OeBF and eBooks are the others international trade and standards organizations. The members of these organizations are the hardware & software companies, libraries, retailers and electronic publishing companies. Digital Media Project (DMP) ensures the successful development, deployment and use of the digital media. It also respects the rights of both creators and right holders for the purpose of receiving the correct remuneration and satisfying the desires of end users.

There are several languages for the rights expression. These include the CreativeCommons (CC), this expression enables for rights to open and access the web contents and called METSRights. This METSR focuses upon the issues of libraries. Besides the ISO other standard provider companies like W3C, IETF and OASIS play an important role for the development of standards for the software development and internet related applications. ISO develops the MPEG and REL which is an official standardization body and standards acceptance is succeeded by the market. For the standardization bodies patent issues are important. The Patent raise challenges for organizations and these bodies are responsible for the clarification of the patents for the specific technologies. When a standard is developed and use the disclosure of patents replaces the more charge on their use.

Applications of DRM

The DRM technology supported by the Microsoft ensures the content owners that right consumers have reached their product. It is calculated that over 450 million consumers are using the Windows media player enabled by the DRM. The DRM technology transfers the secure digital audio and video over the internet in an encrypted file format. The technology of license issuing has given the control to contents owners for the new business opportunities and models. These new technologies allow the user to download the file for which he or she has paid. The secure billing solution i.e. credit cards and online checks are handled by the monetized media. This media contains many business models. Due to peer to peer (P2P) traffic over the internet and illegal copies of audio and video are swapped by the consumers. The illegal copying of digital media is creating issues for the artists and other corporations. Media Key has provided the best way of encryption to secure the audio and video files. A user only with valid license can play these video files and unprotected file format is also not allowed for copying these files. An important aspect of DRM is that the balance of technical measures for the protection and extent of attacks which are permitted. DRM is a very serious and complete tool for protection but it faces bigger circumvention threats. Leading software development companies are fighting to prevent the piracy for the last many years. Copying the content does not only damage the financially but also tarnish their reputations. DRM technology has enabled the managers to deliver the video, audio and multimedia files on operating system platforms. These files can be downloaded by the authenticated users on their computers.

Benefits for the content service providers

When someone logs in the Internet a number of online stores for the digital media files are found which are protected by the DRMs systems. Due to DRM system, technology provider of medial files are now confident about the protection and feel very limited problems for the web contents copying. The web contents are now transferable to portable devices which are attached to the computers. These new technologies are now helpful to speed up the process of license renewing and accessing to web contents. It produces the goodwill for the service providers and satisfies the customers. The platform for these services is highly flexible and targeted audiences are influenced by the providers.

User's benefits

A number of benefits have been brought by the DRM technologies for the consumers and users. These benefits include the secure delivery of contents, portable devices and networks. Due to digital data distributions a convenient way of accessing the contents is availed by the users.


In this paper a brief discussion of the Digital Rights Management is carried out to focus upon its importance in the present IT world. It is known that DRM is a very complex concept with multiple applications. Basic architecture and frameworks of DRM has been covered. Five major areas of the DRM are taken into consideration in this paper. Each area is important with respect to new approaches and technologies for the data security and copy rights of owners. It is also considered that in future DRM can become very secure platform for services and applications of IPR business to grow. The DRM system must secure the privacy, reliability, security and trusted interoperability of these applications and services. Detailed study of the DRM has focused upon its applications with greater benefits for the service providers and consumers.

Top Five things

7.1 Identifier

7.2 Intellectual Property Rights

7.3 Data Privacy

7.4 Data Encryption

7.5 OASIS (The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards).

Definition of Five Terms

Identifier:  The term identifier represents the name of an entity and specific name of any application in Information Technology. The communication of the user and copy right owners is possible through the Digital Object Identifier. The digital object is assigned a number by the registration agency. This is very powerful tool of DRM which lies in the ability of the DOI.

Meta Data: the information about any data (digital audio, video) transferrable is called as metadata. Copyrights owners and contents are identifies by the DRM systems. So the metadata is information which is held for that content. DRM gives very common protection via encryption and digital watermarking. This watermarking has ability to embed the information into data.

ISBN: Stands for the International Standard Book Numbering. This standard of numbering the books is standardized by the ISO. There is an international agency which issues the FAQs and guidelines for eBooks and ISBNs. 

Privacy: By the use of DRM system the original users are authenticated to use the applications and illegal users are prevented to do so. DRM technologies are designed in a way to provide the more perfect control privacy interests of users of digital information.

Encryption: Digital contents are encrypted by use of asymmetric key algorithm while key algorithm makes possible to encrypt the content encryption key. Data encryption offers limits of protections. It prevents the access to contents of files.

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