How can DRM help you in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR)?
It helps you on a number of fronts.
Most importantly it can help you establish for sure the actual date you created your copyright work. Dates matter a lot in copyright. Not just about how long you have the copyright (interestingly enough copyright doesn’t last forever, but 80 years after your death) but also when it started in case there is a dispute about who created the work first.
Just as importantly, it lets you publish or sell works over the Internet whilst still being in control. You can license others just to be able to read your work once, or just print it once, or read it forever. It also allows you to stop them from giving your work to someone else, or copying it so they can sell it on to other people. This can be very flexible.
If you have written an electronic book you can sell it to people, and just make sure that they can’t print it out or otherwise copy it. That way you’re confident that it won’t turn up on the Internet either at a cheaper price, or, worse, for free.
If you are producing sewing patterns you might want to make them available as a monthly publication that goes to a private group of subscribers where every subscriber can read them, and each subscriber can print the pattern out once, but the printed copy is low quality, so they can use it as a pattern but it isn’t good enough to pass on.
So DRM can be very flexible, helping you protect intellectual property – your own ideas, words, pictures and so on, whilst at the same time giving you the ability to allow other people to use your work in a reasonable, but controllable way.
Implementing a DRM service for intellectual property protection does not have to be complex or expensive to set up and administer. To a large extent that will depend upon your scale of operation. If you publish a small number of books or documents to a small number of customers you can run a system manually without any difficulty. Obviously if you are publishing several documents every week to hundreds of customers that is more complicated purely from an administrative standpoint. The DRM component need not be so complex.