Monday, October 08, 2007

Wronging a right

My Network World colleague, Scott Bradner, opines today ("Examining DRM’s future within the Internet") about rights and content. But he makes the, now becoming classic, error of confusing Digital Rights Managment (DRM) with the practices of the RIAA. Not all uses of digital rights management have to do with entertainment. The technology shows promise in the area of privacy protection for personally identifiable information (PII). Sun's DReaM project is a good example.

The term "Identity Rights Management" (IRM) is sometimes used to differentiate this use of DRM, but that shouldn't be necessary. Too often DRM is used by lazy thinkers simply as shorthand for "thugs from the entertainment industries". Let's try to keep the technology issue seperate from the cultural and ethical issues.

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