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Subject: DRM issues


I think Gary's point about ODF being an open document format is well 
taken but do think some nod in the direction of DRM issues might be in 

Afterall, if I want to write an implementation that otherwise uses ODF 
and wish to layer a DRM solution on top of it, surely that is a 
legitimate use of the work product of this committee.

Granted, it is possible to encrypt parts of an ODF document along the 
lines that is used by Adobe, but that does not address issues such as 
copy, print, modify, etc.

The senario where government agencies will want to regulate access to 
certain parts of a document is a very real one in secure environments, 
which appear to be on the rise within the US government. I don't know of 
any reason why they could not use ODF, provided they layered an 
appropriate DRM/security system on top of the format.

Suggestion: What if the various DRM technologies were reviewed and a 
report issued saying that ODF is compatible with DRM technologies that 
impose restrictions on addressable portions of a document, plus some 
statement about DRM being application specific?

I would hesitate to go beyond such a report as the entire DRM question, 
particularly if it includes secure environments would take us far afield 
from what I think most of us would consider to be ODF questions. 
Security/DRM questions are very important but also involve 
network/application architectures, encryption, security protocols, and a 
host of other issues that are really beyond questions of an open 
document format.

For example, in our telephone conference today the question of 
concealing an illustration was raised. Yes, most of us think about only 
concealing the illustration but there are use cases for concealing the 
fact that an illustration ever appeared in the document. Which would 
require suppressing appearance of the illustration in an illustration 
list, the illustration itself (and the fact it occurred at all), plus 
any references to the illustration. That is certainly doable, but not 
something I think we want to spend time specifying in an open document 
format TC.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


PS: I would be willing to volunteer to work with others who are 
interested in creating a ODF/DRM report for the TC to approve and issue.

Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work! 

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