So far, DRM has focused on selling restricted content to consumers. However, an InfoWorld article by Jon Udell reminds us that DRM has always existed — most companies don’t give their marketing folks read/write permissions to shares containing their companies’ source code, for example — and that DRM has other uses, such as helping a business make sure that only their executive staff has access to sensitive content. His best point is that management will be the main challenge for DRM in the enterprise.
The real bottlenecks will be where they always have been: asserting identities, managing cryptographic keys, administering access controls. The critical issue within the enterprise is ease of use. Without breakthrough advances on that front, the technologies that spin out of the DRM war — secure hardware, trustworthy operating systems, XML rights-management languages — won’t find much traction.