Introduction to Digital Rights Management - Sponsored Whitepaper

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Most people have heard of software licensing and pay per view television, but possibly not connected it with a development in technology called Digital Rights Management (DRM). To understand what DRM is trying to achieve you first of all need to understand intellectual property.

To understand digital rights you need to remember that books, plays, pictures, films and so on (including this paper) are subject to copyright or intellectual property rights. By international agreements such as the Berne Convention countries recognize these rights and provide a framework that allows copyright holders to have uniform rights in different countries and to be able to enforce them. Whenever you buy a book, hear a modern recording played on television or see a film a payment is being made to the copyright holders of the work.

You will find significantly more detail on intellectual property rights (IPR) on the web site http://www.wipo.int/. The site provides a comprehensive information resource about the work

of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Now intellectual property rights were important in the book and film trades, but television, DVD, computer software and computer games have had such a significant effect on world trade that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has a special section of its activities devoted to dealing with intellectual property rights called Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and more information on the world negotiations are at http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trip s_e/trips_e.htm.
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