I see it as two sides of the same coin. When you use DRM in a narrow sense, in the way you would with an e-book, you're distributing content
to the consumer. But, the more important thing you're doing is selling the consumer a set of rights to that content. These rights dictate whether the consumer can sell it or lend it to someone, use it to line a bird cage, whatever.
In every transaction, whether in selling to the consumer or licensing foreign translation rights, the publisher is selling a set of rights to content. Those rights can be identified, managed, tracked and sold for revenue. … As each transaction is a set of rights transactions, then those different definitions of rights become pretty similar.
But, aside from rights, there are many things a consumer just can't do easily with a print book: For example, [he] can't change the content of the book without detection, [he] can't change a sad ending to a happy ending.
But in the digital world, all bets are off. So, publishers began to use DRM technology to mimic the set of rights that exist in the print world … as a way to take a digital file and get it to act like a physical book—make it hard to copy, hard to change.
3. You've been involved in this subject for a number of years; have the needs of publishers changed over the years?
Publishers still need to produce products that give customers what they want, at fair prices—that never will change. DRM is just an implementation detail in doing that, and one that has to do with the digital world as opposed to the pre-digital world.
As I said, the original thought people had about DRM was that it was a way of protecting against piracy in the digital world, where piracy becomes easy and cheap. Now, publishers are starting to look at DRM as an enabler of new business models. The first manifestation of that is, of course,