Adobe Acquires DRM Technology

The company buys Navisware's digital rights management business and plans to integrate the technology into its LiveCycle Policy Server.

Adobe Systems Inc. on Monday 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 Microsoft Office documents. The FileLine DRM products from Navisware 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 offering, which provides document security and other controls for PDFs.

FileLine DRM comprises a client and server, which communicate through an encrypted channel. The system is able to enforce predetermined security policies on a wide variety of documents and also 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 a slew of software vendors have deployed a variety of proprietary DRM systems to ensure that their files can only be played on machines that have been authorized to play the content. A number of these privately developed systems have been found to have serious security flaws, and critics for years have said that there is virtually no way to make a closed DRM system both secure and widely usable.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about Sonys controversial DRM scheme.

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. In general, these solutions enable content authors or companies to dictate which users can view a particular file and what actions they can take with the file, such as printing, copying-and-pasting or e-mailing.

Navisware, based in Raleigh, N.C., was founded in 1984 and sells a handful of other CAD-related products.

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