Sorting Out the DRM Mess

Experts gather in New York this week to discuss the Grokster case and other digital rights management issues.

Its tough to make a profit selling digital content without protection from piracy. The current system of digital safeguards is very much a work in progress. Experts on DRM in New York on Wednesday to discuss the fields latest trends and techniques at the DRM Strategies Conference & Expo.

Highlights of the show will include contrasting demonstrations of digital rights management technologies by leading vendors including Microsoft Corp., Authentica, ContentGuard, MacroVision Corp. and others.

At the moment, there are plenty of DRM solutions to choose from; in fact the plethora of competing DRM approaches creates something of a standards quagmire that slows overall adoption of the technology. Its not clear whether the demos offered at the show will provide more clarity, but theyll definitely provide more information.

/zimages/2/28571.gifThe mobile and wireless market is awaiting a break in the legal logjam over DRM. Click here to read more.

Also, much of the current confusion over DRM results from unresolved issues of intellectual property law, with regard to both DRM technology itself, as well as to the content that DRM protects.

The Supreme Courts recent Grokster ruling held that peer-to-peer file sharing services have "vicarious liability" for copyright infringements of which they are aware but fail to stop. The decision undoubtedly will have widespread impact on consumers and content owners alike; however, the devil is likely to be in the details.

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