Adobe Buys Navisware DRM Line

By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2006-01-16 Print this article Print

Adobe Systems Inc. last week acquired the digital rights management business of Navisware.

Adobe Systems Inc. last week acquired the digital rights management business of Navisware.

The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, allows Adobe to jump into the burgeoning DRM sector and deploy its own technology for protecting documents created with Microsoft Corp.s Office software. Naviswares FileLine DRM products are designed to provide security and version control for CAD, Office and other file types.

Adobe, of San Jose, Calif., plans to integrate the FileLine technology into its LiveCycle Policy Server, which provides document security and other controls for Adobe PDFs. FileLine DRM comprises a client and server, which communicate through an encrypted channel. The system can enforce predetermined security policies on a variety of documents and encrypts individual files for added protection.

DRM is one of the more controversial technologies to come along in recent years. Large media companies, online music services and software vendors have deployed a variety of proprietary DRM systems to ensure that their files can be played only on authorized machines. Some of these privately developed systems have been found to have serious security flaws, and critics for years have said there is virtually no way to make a closed DRM system both secure and widely usable.

DRM systems for Office documents and other file formats used widely in the enterprise have been less controversial, and several such systems have been in use for years.

Navisware, of Raleigh, N.C., was founded in 1984.


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