Open Rights Management

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Open Rights Management (ORM) is a system for ensuring the rights of the creator of a piece of digital content.

An author may have varying views on how their creation can be used. They may want just want to have count kept every time their creative work is played, or to charge money for this viewing, or to be free to everyone, but cost money for commercial reproduction. Rather than a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system than mandates behavior and forces end users' computers to lock up, ORM is more of a passive system, like the GPL, where the metadata can be used as evidence of copyright infringement.

The ORM system will provide a way to birthmark new content in a way that it will be possible to verify that birthmark if there is a copyright violation. Current Rights Management Systems provide a draconian way of enforcing perceived copyright violations, often by locking up machine playing the content. My working concept is that an ORM system should use existing copyright law for enforcement purposes, and not ever modify the base platform the software is running on. We all know that any digital file can be edited, and any birthmark data added can be removed, so this is the interesting part. How do we birthmark a file, and record that data in such a way that it can be verified to be that particular piece of content ?


Other Rights Management Projects

  • Open Media Commons Sponsored by Sun, so of course all the code is in Java.
  • Here's an article on Sun's OpenDRM project.