A (Probably Naive) Attempt to Move the DRM Conversation Forward

November 2nd, 2009 · 26 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

If there are two truths we hold to be self-evident, they are these: 1) DRM does nothing to stop piracy, and 2) DRM, as used by many publishers today, frustrates legitimate purchasers of books. This leads many to conclude that DRM does not work, and that DRM is evil.

How do we get past “it’s good” or “it’s evil”?

Not true. And not true.

Consumers will happily accept the shackles of DRM if the trade-off is worth it to them. For example, while some Kindle users grumble about loss of rights, they express joy at the ease of purchase created by the Kindle system. On the flip side, some readers — I am one of them — hate Adobe Digital Editions. My first experience resulted in the server being unable to authenticate. Seriously, I bought books and couldn’t read them because the fracking server couldn’t authenticate.

Subsequent experiences have not made me happy. I avoid the ADE experience with everything I have. There’s something wrong with a system that continually makes a person forget why they opened an application in the first place. I don’t doubt that this experience can be improved, and I believe Adobe is sincere about making the whole process seamless. I just haven’t been thrilled by it yet.

Because consumers have grown wary of DRM — publishers, it’s not your fault alone; the music industry did you a bad this past decade — it’s hard to talk reasonably about DRM. I really liked it when Adam Hodgkin reframed the issue, noting it’s about Managing Digital Rights (“MDR”). Because that’s what we all need to be talking about.

Once we get past the “we have to have it to stop piracy”, a fallacy if ever one were uttered, and into the “how can we better manage the consumer experience” discussion, the better. I’m going to start right now. Join me. Please.

The most obvious, and most logical, reason for placing access restrictions on content is to limit the amount of time a person can utilize the content. Access to library books is controlled via software that automatically activates and expires a book, a video, a piece of music. This same technology can be extended to allow the reader to purchase or re-up the rental period on the media. The rules are clear to both the consumer and the library. That’s nice.

I won’t be surprised if we start seeing serious, robust ebook rental schemes. I’d already been thinking about them when I had two completely unrelated conversations about the idea. By serious, I mean a true Netflix-type model where ongoing revenue to the publisher and author is part of the program. Again, everyone knows the rules, and there is potential for purchases galore.

In the purchasing realm, I am convinced the smart way to manage digital rights is to allow people to buy books and let them choose the format. I am not opposed to rules where the book can only be downloaded a total of, oh, 10 times or activated on x-number of devices…as long as that access is clearly stated, upfront, to the consumer. Make it reasonable (we all know how technology evolves). Again, everyone knows the rules.

Discerning readers saw the thread throughout this post. Now let’s talk about how to move forward. As you might imagine, the first step is for publishers (and authors) to listen to what their customers (readers) are saying about DRM. Let me reiterate: people don’t mind restrictions as long as they know what they’re getting and what the limits are. I fully understand that the books I “purchase” for my Kindle are not owned by me — this is why I refuse to spend over $10 for an ebook. I lose rights.

(You knew pricing was a huge part of this topic; DRM and prices go together like “ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong“. In fact, the various rights lost by consumers are all factors in how they perceive the value of a book.)

As you can imagine, a lot of the burden for moving this conversation forward is, necessarily, on publishers. Readers have spoken quite clearly. They’ve engaged in discussions, put forth points of compromise, and — this is a tough one — are extremely well-informed about the issue. They may not know DRM by name, but they know what it is.

Now it’s time for the industry to have a similar discussion. A real discussion. A conversation that starts with ideas about communication and smart management of digital rights. This conversation should not take place in the industry bubble (it’s fun in there, sure, but the echo could drive you batty). Involve everyone, listen to everyone, but give a lot of weight to what the people who pay you money have to say.

Every barrier between a reader and her book is an opportunity for someone else to capture that reader’s attention. This is the challenge the industry faces. The books I bought the day ADE thwarted me were never read. Never talked about. And I’ve never purchased via that channel again. In this case, the publisher, who had me on the direct sales channel, has lost me to a larger retailer. This is less revenue for the publisher and more opportunity for me to be distracted by other bright and shiny things.

Managing digital rights is the best conversation the industry can have right now. Goodwill is flowing toward publishers, but the grumbling is growing louder. So how do we move this conversation forward?

File Under: The Future of Publishing

26 responses so far ↓

  • Laura K Curtis // Nov 2, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Oh, do I hear you on the ADE. The books I first got in ADE format were FREE and I was still so furious over the whole thing that I’d never go that route again.

    I am a devoted Kindle user, though there are areas I think need improvement — I love the idea that with the Nook, one can lend books, for example — and I am with you on the whole “I have fewer rights, so I won’t pay as much” aspect.

    The other aspect of DRM that is super annoying is that, for the moment, it is far too device-specific. I couldn’t seriously consider a Sony when I was looking at eReaders, for example, because their library-management software doesn’t run on a Mac. Get real. This is a cross-platform world, folks, and I don’t mean just Mac vs. PC. If I buy a book, I want to be able to read it on my Kindle, my iPod, my Mac, my Sony (should I have one), my Nook (should I have one)…

    As you say, tell me how many devices I can use the book on, then let me decide how to parcel those devices out. That’s the way it works with my iTunes library. I have five devices I can put a song on. With TV and movies, I believe it’s three devices, but I am not sure. But I can certainly watch them on PCs, Macs, and iPods, however I should choose to parcel out my authorizations.

  • Katherine // Nov 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Actually, this brings up an interesting point with the Nook and the LendMe application. I was so excited when I saw that publishers and booksellers were getting smart on that issue–it frustrates me to no end that I can’t share good books with my friends if I buy them as ebooks. And they were even going to be fair about the whole thing–if you lend a book it can only be for a maximum of 14 days, and during those days the book is inaccessable to you.

    But, of course, Publisher’s Lunch let out the dirty secret that all the big publishers have no plans to participate in this feature right now, despite feigning excitement at the official unveiling. Sure, B&N didn’t have freebies for them, but that’s no reason to get snippy. Joking aside, though, if none of the big publishers will allow their books to be lent, what good does it do the reader. It DOES let smaller publishers get their name out, which I am grateful for, but it still doesn’t do the consumer much good.

    And why won’t they lend the books? They’re scared. DRM. Wouldn’t be right to lend out something like an ebook, when that customer payed only $10 for that bestseller, that dirty, dirty customer who buys the ebooks. I mean, REALLY. Is that what the industry has come to?

    That customer, they might share ALL THEIR BOOKS! And then, no one would buy books anymore, cause everyone is sharing! You can’t do that with print books at all.

  • Sean Cranbury // Nov 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Great piece, Kassia.

    I’d like to submit a couple of points to this discussion. See if we can stir the pot a little.

    Pricing for an ebook is an agreement between the publisher and the customer on what is fair value for the product. Just like any other commodity. You – and many other people – have decided that $10 is considered fair. That’s great, publishers and Amazon are lucky to have you.

    Again, it’s based on value and the customer needs to agree that the price is worth paying.

    Zero is an attractive price, too. Or say, my imaginary price point of $2.49.

    So how are publishers going to develop the market for ebook sales in the face of file sharing?

    Certainly the music industry attempted to stem the tide with DRM, root kits and eventually litigation.

    Publishing is already at step 1. If it gets to step 3, suing readers, well you can believe that I’ll be pulling up a chair with a big bowl of popcorn to watch that disaster unfold.

    But we won’t get to Step 3 because we’re smarter than that, right? Because we’re going to innovate, make smart decisions, learn from smart people who have witnessed the slow motion collision of other media industries and the digital age and because we’re going to actually make decisions based on data not superstitious fears of changing technologies.

    Right? This is what publishing is going to actually do… right?

    Anyway, one of the presentations that I have given over the past few months is called DRM vs the Inevitability of Free Content. What I mean by ‘Free Content’ is ‘paid content that is free to be shared by the person who has purchased the file’.

    Gasp/shock/horror. “But doesn’t that mean that people can share the files on P2P sites?”

    Yes. Yes it does.

    It’s going to be the best means of promoting and marketing the work, author and publisher and publishers need to be on top of figuring out the P2P technologies, making friends with the vast groups of passionate readers already using the P2P sites who buy physical books by the arm load. Engaging them in such a way as to figure out how to best serve them.

    What is it that they’re really willing to shell money for? Ask that question. I am fairly sure that a digital reproduction of a book simply doesn’t rank as worth paying for and no amount of litigation or legislation is going to change that.

    Smart publishers already know this and are working to figure out how to work with the digital consumer flow – or, dare I say it, torrent – and are not wasting their time on ways to prevent their content from being read but rather working with the technologies, readers and other opportunities to keep themselves and their writers relevant going forward.

    I find it shocking that the publishing industry – you know, the industry that is constantly complaining that nobody reads anymore – is spending all of this time and money searching for ways to prevent their content from being read.

    Just weird.

  • Stacy // Nov 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I think you’re right about a “true Netflix-type model” having potential. I can imagine a book club/Netflix mix where there is a flat rate per month and access to differing numbers of e-books for a set amount of time.

    If you can’t read the books on any device, take them wherever you go, move them around over time, or share them with your friends, you’re really just renting access to them anyway.

    I know different companies manage production of audio vs. print vs. e-book in many cases, but I would love to see books offered in packages. For example, buy the e-book for $5, the book for $10, the e-book on all devices plus print book for $20, the e-book plus audio plus print plus video for $40, etc.

  • Barbara Fister // Nov 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Good sense on DRM and pricing. I also agree–how bizarre to complain on the one hand that there are not enough people reading, then make it hard to access books. Or share them – word of mouth works a lot better if you can actually pass along the book and create a new fan. “I just read the best book. You’ll have to pay ten bucks to see if you agree with me” doesn’t work so well.

    Libraries are another variable being left out in the cold. Some libraries are buying Kindles, populating them with books, and loaning them (against the tos, but hey – we’re passionate about sharing books). But think how much it will cut into libraries’ buying power if the only way to loan an e-book is to loan a device with it!

    Cutting libraries out of the market for reader-friendly e-books is a great way to diminish the number of future readers.

  • heymae // Nov 3, 2009 at 12:56 am

    G’day, coming from Down-Under Land, I guess I might see e-book matters from a different perspective. The “Publishers” first sent me galloping in the direction of seriously accepting e-books, when they REFUSED to sell me a book because of my geographical location. Then a beaut forum person sent me his digital file…Did I feel guilty? No I did not.
    I now own a BE-BOOK, READER mainly because it is a dedicated ebook reader, without bells and whistles, and handles a whole range of different formats. Reading is now a pleasure.
    Looking into the, e-book future, your site seems to float around, general reading. I would suggest you also spare a thought for all the back-breaking pile of text books, kids lug off to school every day. Convert them to digital format, and they only require a small e-book device.
    Pricing E-Books seems to be of a major, concern, and many folks are going to call me, “One kangaroo short in the paddock,” when they read what I am about to propose. The internet is open territory to ALL authors, new and established. You place your work, in an e-book format, up on a site, then as crazy as it might seem to many, you attach to your publication a simple, DONATE button. OK some folks will enjoy a free read, but at least you were read, and I believe fair minded people will be only too pleased to leave a donation.
    Remember that in the print world, first you have to find a publisher, second your monetary return is nowhere near the amount earned by a few well known authors. If your book does not sell well in the first six months it is pulped, and you receive zilch !
    The e-Book may remain in cyber-land, for ever. It enjoys global access…and I suspect quite a number of honest donations.
    Plus do not have to concern yourself with copyright…You simply use the “Creative Commons” format and all is sweet….Enjoy.

  • Albin // Nov 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Maybe it’s obvious but, on the music experience, setting aside those with ideological banners of one or another sort, it’s likely that writers who have a lot to gain from building readership informally will not want DRM, but those who have a lot to lose from unrestricted copying will want DRM. As Blake said, “To generalize is to be an idiot.” However, my consumer experience with copy-protected music has been lousy enough that I only buy CDs.

  • Mark Evans // Nov 3, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks, Kassia, for another thoughtful post. I fully agree with the sentiment of moving beyond the “is DRM evil?” debate. I do think that DRM can (and does in some cases) prevent piracy. We can certainly agree to disagree on this.

    I do not agree with Sean. I own a Sony Reader and if I read a book on it, I never buy a physical copy. Never.

    The Kindle is a good example of a successful DRM implementation – lots of sales (happy customers) with no file sharing. The problems with it is the single-provider and single device model, much like the original iTunes. In the end, this model may end up being the most attractive for all parties that choose to go the DRM path.

    My experience says that a donation-based scheme is a pipe dream. There was a similar concept in software a few years ago called shareware. I’m not saying it does not exist today, but it is a very small piece of the application market. Most have trial periods or “lite” versions and require a key to install.

    Publishers have a key advantage that the music industry did not have: the main mass marketed physical media (printed books) are not transformed into a file with the push of a button on any PC in the country. This means a quality digital copy is more difficult (not impossible!) to procure and share, and provides more control to the publisher.

    It is too bad to hear about Adobe’s issues. I would love to see a good, neutral alternative to the Kindle.

    I do have to say that the “go DRM-free” side may very well be right that it is where we will end up eventually. Certainly that is the case in music. However, the industry will be transformed if that is the case, meaning far fewer dollars will flow into it and self-marketers will tend to flourish over brilliant writers (not that they can’t sometimes be both!.) That said, far worse things have happened in the world.

  • Mark Evans // Nov 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Meant to add – I do think the Netflix-like rental model is very intriguing. Will be great to see if someone can make this work…

  • Mark Barrett // Nov 3, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    While the average consumer may have DRM hassles from time to time, the elevation of DRM to Evil is driven primarily by people who have a vested interest served by such portrayals. To the extent that the music business didn’t itself any favors over Napster, Napster and other file-sharing services were hardly benign in their attempts to delegitimize copyrights in favor of their own businesses. Again, as always, there’s money to be made if DRM can be negated, and that money is not flowing into Robin Hood’s schools and orphanages.

    Too, I think everyone understands that at some point this has to stop. All teenagers think it’s funny to wreck Dad’s car. That’s what being a teenager is about: you have no responsibilities, you have no income, you have no sense, you have a nascent set of morals, and you are, essentially, a peer-driven mass of rudderless cells. (Apologies to all you stable outliers.) So of course it’s going to be funny to shoot mailboxes and smash pumpkins and steal music or video clips. Why wouldn’t it be?

    But that’s not a business model. It’s anarchy. It’s also why you can’t run for President at 22. And if you’re 22 right now and think that’s unfair, wait twenty years. You’ll change your mind.

    As I noted here — http://www.ditchwalk.com/2009/10/29/the-bigger-picture/ — we’re all going to be better off if we solve this problem before Uncle Government decides to do it for us. The first step (echoing you, Kassia), is to get some adults in the room.

  • Charles King // Nov 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    “I fully understand that the books I “purchase” for my Kindle are not owned by me — this is why I refuse to spend over $10 for an ebook. I lose rights.”

    While you may understand it, I’m pretty sure the publishers *don’t*. There’s mounting pressure from both publishers and authors to increase the price of eBooks (the majors keep slashing the royalties on eBooks).

    Take a look at http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/33603693/ns/today-today_books/
    Publishers can’t survive at a rate of $10 for new books, and the reasons are partly legitimate and partly a result of their entrenched inefficiencies. What they want is higher prices *with* all the DRM.

    I’m really not sure how long Amazon will be able to maintain the $10 price-point, which was really just part of its plan to establish a leading share in the eBook market. At some point it’s going to reign-in the loss-leaders.

    The only purpose to DRM is to prevent casual copying, since committed pirates have long since worked out how to break all the DRM schemes currently used. So why not switch to watermarking? Instead of using encryption to lock a book down and making life difficult for those who legitimately purchase books, use it to watermark the book with the purchaser’s name and credit-card (or SS) number.

    Allow the purchaser to convert it to any format they choose, so there are no problems with moving to a new device or new computer and they will still have their book if the DRM servers go dark. But if you go ahead and dump it on a file-sharing site you’re handing out critical personal info that will not only make it easy for the publisher to come calling on you, but will be putting a lot more at risk.

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  • Kassia Krozser // Nov 4, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Charles — I do take exception with the contention that “publishers can’t survive at a rate of $10 for new books” — everyone is saying this but what they mean is “publishing as we know it” (which you acknowledge). Many publishers can and do survive at even lower price points. The current trend toward deep discounting of hardcover books may or may not survive the holiday season. Already, the retailers are putting limits on the consumer.

    The truth is that publishers are not going to win the ebook pricing battle. If there was a point when they had the good argument (and I don’t believe this moment existed), they lost it long ago. Not only have they failed to make a solid case for their pricing strategy in the face of a well-educated consumer base, but they have failed on the most basic issues, including quality control. The industry cannot expect consumers to buy into their world-view by releasing sub-standard product. There is a marketplace for higher priced ebooks, but most publishers are failing to understand or exploit it.

  • Alan // Nov 4, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    In response to one argument I read, does DRM-free eBooks address the low price point argument? If we sell eBooks without DRM, can I sell them at a higher price because I’ve given the user total access? If not, then there’s something else at play.

  • Heymae // Nov 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    RE; DRM-free E-Books.

    As one friend in the publishing business recently said,”The Internet has made self-publishing a reality. Leaving printed books behind – and traditional publishers to their own extinction.”

    Oh how true, how very true.

  • Sean Cranbury // Nov 5, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Mark Evans. To say that there’s no files sharing of Amazon/Kindle files would not be correct. The DRM wrapper around their files is easily cracked and files have appeared on file sharing sites. Note Cory Doctorow’s key note at TOC last year.

    I would argue, though, that file sharing of book files is substantially different than music and movies files. You’re not seeing the same insanely viral uptake on book files for a number of reasons – including but not limited to – different levels of instant gratification, lack of consumer awareness on how to upload a file to a file sharing site, use torrent trackers, engagement among active readers in basic P2P web technologies, secular nature of traditional readers, etc…

    This all works toward allowing the publishers time to engage the technologies, figure them out and help their growing audiences make friends with the technologies and leveraging their writers, their brands and their books to a global marketplace.

    Even if the blue hairs at the NYT publish a monthly hyper-ventilation episode about the Napsterization of Books, it doesn’t make it an epidemic by any stretch.

    Mark Barrett: Booksquare is one of the best forums for discussion among adults on these issues.

    I am not sure what you mean when you say “the elevation of DRM to Evil is driven primarily by people who have a vested interest served by such portrayals.”

    What do you mean by vested interest? And who has this vested interest? Who is deriving private benefit at the expense of common sense in the DRM debate besides the DRM Solutions Providers?

    And do you think that any government can possibly effectively legislate against international file sharing? Even if they target the ISPs and attempt to hold them accountable for the actions of their paying customers people will find a way around it.

    For reasons far beyond what traditional businesses want to protect their precious and inflexible business models decision makers at all levels need to learn how the technology functions and what potential it bears.

  • Brian O'Leary // Nov 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Sean, you might extend the “free to share” analysis (something you know I agree with) to consider how restricted content is actually worth less to the buyer. I’ve been thinking lately that DRM locks may be contributing to lower digital content prices.

  • Sean Cranbury // Nov 5, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Interesting, Brian.

    During Bookcamp Vancouver I directed 2 presentations: one on DRM/Free Content and another strictly on rethinking Free Content. lots of fruitful discussion there.

    I had some discussions that day with published writers who were concerned about their work and piracy. Fair enough, no question about it. We had a good discussion about it and I think that we all came away with new ways of looking at the question. I know that I did.

    Then I went and performed some research myself. I wanted to see for myself how these writers were presenting themselves online, how they were marketing and selling their digital books and where the cause for concern might be and I found something that surprised me.

    One writer in question was pretty far out front of the pack. Not only was her book published by a major press but she was leveraging the work online with seminars, paid discussions, other ancillary revenue generators and a .pdf available for sale from her site for $32.95. I was/am beyond impressed.

    The high price point for the digital file in her case works for a few reasons… 1) highly specific content 2) natural readership respects the authors copyright 3) natural readership doesn’t possess technical know how to upload to torrent sites 4) natural readership doesn’t download torrents for same reason 5) writer has created a unique readership community that understands and respects the price of admission and is happy to spend the money on something that they consider valuable…

    All of this is excellent and I applaud her for the work that she has done.

    She is obviously not Stephen King or other writers whose books are rampantly shared online. And that is fine, too, because I believe that there’s increasing evidence to support the notion that heavy downloaders are also the biggest consumers of the ‘real thing’.

    I have pointed to some of these ideas in my slides on DRM. Specifically the screen captures of file sharing activity on Pirate Bay that shows communities of passionate fans share digital files and also purchase the physical versions.

    Taking a closer look at how these file sharers communicate with each other would go a long way to recognizing that they’re fans with money who just happen to understand the technology.

  • Derek // Nov 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I have enjoyed following this thread and would like to posit a couple of points on ebooks and the netflix model:

    1) Most people buy books, read them once and shelve them…forever. After a certain length of time they find their way to used bookstores, swap meets and flea markets. Books, like most other media entertainment, are disposable. Like music, people’s tastes change and they move on. How many movies still get sold at Salvation Army in VHS? File sharing then becomes a question of shelf life. Like movies at the theatre, after a few weeks no one watches them or waits until they roll around on HBO, a pay to view form of service. This leads to the Netflix model…

    2) What if you rented a book, mostly because it was cheaper, and when you finished it your Kindle confirms the “delete” and the book is “returned” so to speak. Thus Amazon could buy 100,000 licenses, rent and trade them as they see fit and everyone gets paid. Since we don’t keep the books we read the model works well and encourages more reading, keeping the bookcase full.

    The only issue I have with ebooks is more Orwellian. They can be changed. Physical books remain as they are. You can’t go back and edit a printed book. There is a sense of permanency there. The ebook can be edited, thus the writer can fix things, instead of working to write well from the beginning. A publisher can remove something that may offend some small group of people because of pressure imposed on them, thus leading writers to worry more about whatever perceived offenses they may commit rather than seeking truth in their writing. Fear should be something the reader experiences as part of their experience with a story line, not because of a publisher or a writer cause them to be scared.

    Now if they could get a Kindle below $60, maybe I would buy one. Oh yeah, did we forget the reader costs so much that you don’t save money on books until you have read fifty books. If you read ten books a year it would take you three years before you start to get on the plus side of the ledger, and then the technology will change.

    I’ll go back to quietly being dragged further into the digital age despite my Luddite tendencies. (Got my first and only mp3 player a year ago).

    Thanks,

    Derek

  • Gavin // Nov 8, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    The ebook rental idea is interesting but the Netflix model may not attract many publishers: Netflix don’t buy licenses or pay royalties or any such thing. They buy cheap copies and start renting them.

    We’ve been selling DRM-free PDFs from our site (as well as ebooks on Fictionwise, the Kindle, and a few other sites) for a couple of years — and have also released a few titles under Creative Commons. So far we have had a pretty good experience and (knock on wood) no real problems with piracy.

    We’re going to soft launch a new DRM-free ebook site at some point this winter. Will keep reading and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Gavin

  • Kassia Krozser // Nov 8, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Gavin — Please do keep me informed! I’ve followed Small Beer for quite some time. I think you’re doing it right, especially when it comes to smart community building. People love and respect you, which is, you know, rare in publishing.

    As for Netflix, the model works like this (and i have to be careful to say too much, though, hmm, nobody made me sign an NDA ): Netflix buys DVDs at a negotiated wholesale rate (residuals and participations are paid on this amount). After a certain threshold, Netflix then pays the studio via a revenue sharing model (again, residuals and participations are paid on these amounts). After a certain amount of time (defined by contract), Netflix is free to sell excess DVDs, with no additional money flowing to studio. So bonuses: Netflix buys more copies of DVDs, particularly for hot titles, there’s an ongoing revenue stream (which is why studios prefer this model over the old school rental model, or the current Redbox model, which does not, to the best of my knowledge, have this kind of revenue share), and library/catalog titles are seeing new life.

  • Kassia Krozser // Nov 10, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Gavin — I should also note that you’re right. It likely won’t attract many publishers. This is the stuff that makes them itchy and uncomfortable.

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  • Elena // Nov 23, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Dear all,
    I’m a student of Management Engineering at Politecnico di Torino. One of the objectives of my master thesis, applied to a real case study, is the protection of confidential or valuable content using Digital Rights Management (DRM) techniques. I would like to start my research by doing a survey among expert and professionals in the IT sector.
    As part of this work, I have developed a questionnaire whose purpose is collecting feedback in order to come up with an objective assessment of the market where such software for protecting digital assets could be deployed.
    If you would be so kind to help me in doing my thesis, I will be happy to share with you the results of the survey by sending you the final report (which will be anonymous and respectful of your privacy). You can find the questionnaire online at the following link:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Hqd7dR8baumIgsg_2fpmjLQA_3d_3d
    Thank you very much in advance for your kind help and your time.
    Best regards,
    Elena

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