DRM spending to reach US$9bn by 2012

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DRM spending to reach US$9bn by 2012

Copy protection becomes big business.

Spending on digital rights management (DRM) software and hardware will exceed US$9bn over the next five years, a report predicted today.

Insight Research said that total worldwide spending on DRM will reach just over $1bn by the close of 2007, and that business spending will grow to nearly US$1.9bn by 2012.

The study predicted that, as the value of digital content increases, applications of DRM will increase, although at a slower rate than the value of content based on the fact that DRM pricing is not tied to the value of the protected content.

"DRM evolved over the past two decades to serve corporations that needed a means to deal with information piracy, peer-to-peer file sharing and various regulatory requirements," said Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research.

"So in a sense DRM did not arise to meet the needs of end users, and in fact it may be said to have evolved to spite the end user.

"Organisations like Creative Commons have emerged to balance the respective and sometimes conflicting rights of artists and creators, media companies, and individuals who share content.

"But, by and large, the focus of the DRM industry is to protect the rights of the owner of the content, not the end user."
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