8. Can a book publisher use any digital rights management software? Is there software specific to the book industry?
Essentially, DRM software is part of e-book production and consumption software. [But] there are other schemes out there you might use in a book paradigm, if you're doing something other than e-books, such as PDFs for course materials or professional content for nursing students—then you might use something else.
There's Microsoft's Windows Media Rights Manager technology, which manages digital rights for corporate documents. In STM [scientific, technical and medical] publishing, there are DRM solutions that are specific to that market, including RapidRights from Cadmus and DocuRights from Aries Systems, both meant for distribution of journals or journal articles under different sets of circumstances.
Some publishers may want to implement a library-lending paradigm, where the material is unreadable after four weeks, but in the case of academic journals, you don't want to limit access like that, so the DocuRights system doesn't allow people to put that type of restriction on it. … It is specific to the needs of the academic journal community.
Two other examples of segment-specific DRM technologies are Microsoft's and Adobe's e-book technologies, which are specific to
e-books and not applicable outside of book publishing.
On the other hand, DRM technologies like Microsoft's and Adobe's e-book production software, while they're specific to the book market, allow a publisher to define rights in a very flexible and detailed way. You can use Adobe technology to support a library-lending or purchasing paradigm. …
End users can borrow a book for a month, or reserve room in a research library, where they can access any material for a day. You can set the parameters.
There are also services like netLibrary and ebrary that implement different ways of granting access. Open eBook Forum has been working on standards that let publishers set rights in great detail; the Rights and Rules Working Group is extending existing rights expression language standards in ways that are specific to the needs of e-book publishers. … That was a project I worked on last year on behalf of AAP [Association of American Publishers].