Image Processing Reference
system is a good example of how the content can be secured without getting in the way of
a normal user's listening habits.
BBC Creative Archives Project
The second example is the stated goal of opening up the entire BBC archives to the UK pub-
lic on terms that are similar to an open-source software license. This makes the raw mate-
rial available, and if people so desire, they can restore or aggregate the content together in
new ways. All of that adds value to the archive as a whole. This is of great benefit to schools,
for example, as supporting material for their curriculum, and new television program ideas
may emerge as a result of this material's being accessible to a wider public.
The iTunes music store and other similar services run by Real Networks, Microsoft, Virgin,
Napster, and their competitors have negotiated licensing arrangements with the owners of
the copyrights. These licensing arrangements are slightly different from each other, and
aside from the formats possibly being incompatible, there is the problem that authentica-
tion facilities may not be available to everyone. If you download a track from one service,
you may not have the same rights as you would if you obtained it from a different source.
This comes down to the issues of fair use and right to copy. Clearly the laws must be
designed to prevent piracy and the selling of content whose copyright is owned by some-
one else. This must be accomplished without significantly affecting the convenience and
right to fair use that a legitimate purchaser should enjoy.
Needless to say, this is an area of much debate. At the one end of the spectrum is the
desire for total control and measured distribution that the recording and movie companies
deem important. They have every right to protect content where they have funded the cre-
ative process. At the other end of the spectrum is the public's desire for total autonomous
freedom to transfer a legitimate copy of a music track to an MP3 player or a movie to a
laptop hard disk so that it is available while traveling.
Struggles Between Copyright Owners and Pirates
DRM is seen as the main weapon that the copyright owners in the recording and movie
industries have to protect their assets. While DRM may well hinder determined piracy
operations, it will not stop them completely.
This is because the large revenues that the pirates make from stealing content are suf-
ficient to fund “cracking” teams with more resources than the people protecting the con-
tent are willing or able to spend on protecting it.
The problem is analogous to making your home or car burglarproof. In the end,
the best you can hope for is that the thief is deterred or discouraged and moves on to
another victim. This works fine for the casual theft of rights-protected material. For