Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Future Of Digital Content

The Future Of Digital Content

The US Court ruling that file sharing software providers can be held accountable if they enable people to exchange copyrighted information without paying for it is not surprising.

I think this is another step along the way to how people will eventually consume digital content.

Eventually (within the next few years) digital media whether it be audio, video, text, software or whatever will be encapsulated into "Rights Management Blobs".

Eventually (this will take longer) these "Blobs" will be expanded to encompass everything that is sent around the net; Email, Web Pages, every packet.

Once you have one of these "Blobs" you can do with it as you please up to the rights associated with the blob.

Here is a set of rights that I can see that may work:

[0] Unsigned - This is the content that is typically associated with electronic content today. Who knows where it came from or who created it.

[1] Unrestricted - The Blob basically only has a signature that indicates where it came from and perhaps a trail of signatures that indicates where it came from most recently. You do not have to authenticate yourself to consume the content of the Blob.

[2] Sold - The Blob is 'keyed' to a unique individual or entity. When the Blob is to be 'consumed' then an authentication event must take place by the individual or entity that is 'keyed' to this Blob.

[3] On Loan - Works just like 'Sold' except that the Blob will 'decay over time' where 'time' may be calendar time or number of uses.