The distribution of content on the Internet has made traditional copyright laws obsolete. Every time somebody downloads an eBook and shares it with others, the copyright owner of the book loses revenue because instead of buying the physical book, people are actually sharing it for free. The very nature of the Internet makes file sharing easy and monitoring piracy virtually impossible. Therefore, there was an urgent need to find an alternate route to protecting copyright of digital content. DRM, or Digital Rights Management, thus, came into being.
Digital rights management uses technology to protect copyright of content. Basically, with DRM, control of the digital content passes from the content owner to a computer program.
A company may take several routes to DRM. For example, they can block forwarding of sensitive emails on their servers. Digital publishers can restrict access to, and copying and printing of their content.
Advantages of DRM
Adds an extra layer of protection: For digital publishers, the main benefit of DRM is that it adds an extra layer of protection to their eBooks and other copyrighted content.
Internet offers both risks and rewards to digital publishers. First, publishers gain from reduced costs of publishing. It is relatively simple to publish an interactive ebook – and once published, you can make any number of copies you want at no additional, or minimal, overhead cost. As a digital publisher, you can also take advantage of low-cost online sales and marketing initiatives, and thereby, save on the marketing cost. On the flip side, peer-to-peer sharing sites open up avenues for free sharing of copyrighted material, and thus, if your content gets shared on these sites, you will lose revenue. However, if your content is DRM-protected, you can stop this piracy, and, consequently, revenue loss.
As mentioned above, the Internet makes it possible to publish ebooks at minimal costs and then further achieve savings through no print run costs. Besides, there is value to be unlocked through instant delivery worldwide with zero delivery charges. All this value achieved can be lost if your content is not copyright protected. With DRM protected eBooks you can significantly increase your ROI by ensuring you get paid for your intellectual property rather than losing it.
Maintain IPR Control
DRM protected content not only allows you to control who views your content but also what the viewers can do with it. For example, some information can have a defined lifecycle and once the expiry date is reached, people will no longer be able to view your content. Then again, you can also restrict printing rights such that even people who have access to viewing are unable to print the material. Thus, with DRM protected eBooks, you can control the intellectual property rights of your copyrighted work.
Prevent IPR Theft
By implementing DRM on your published work, you can prevent theft of your IPR, either deliberately or through incompetence. Besides, you can also monitor who has actually viewed your documents and if they have tried to pass on their authorization to others, and who these other people are.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
As a digital publisher, you require best practices to ensure that your content is strongly encrypted and comes with user’s license so that no unauthorized people have access to it. Your business may involve dealing with a lot of people outside your company network, which means that you would need to provide authorized access to confidential information to such people. The responsibility of maintaining this confidentiality is solely yours. To ensure confidentiality of data, you would need to comply with several regulations, for example, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) which aims to ensure secure control of business information. By implementing DRM protection, you can store sensitive information such as personal data, important documents etc., on your laptop and distribute it to the right people without any loss of control.
To survive and thrive in the digital world, it’s not enough to publish digital content – you also need to secure it with DRM protection. By collaborating with the right technology partner, you can ensure that your content is safe in the form of DRM-protected eBooks and it reaches the right audience at the right time.
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