GeoDRM GIS Thoughts

GeoDRM data protection will it ever work ?

As I have noted before, OS is interested in GeoDRM activities as a way of standardising how rights to access information and the transfer of those rights between individuals and groups is standardised as much as possible.

Of course we also need to track developments in the more contentious area of data and IP protection techniques, and today I have been visiting some people who have a solution in this space.

As I expected, at the moment, this type of technology is not fit for purpose for geospatial data, not taking into the account the “spatial” nature of geographic information and imposing unacceptable restrictions on the users computer platform (windows & IE only just does not work anymore !!!)

This raises a more fundamental question in my mind, are such protective technologies really worth the effort, sure they reduce the perceived risk of data leakage in the mind of the data owner, but as DVD Jon has proved such systems can nearly always be broken. We don’t currently protect data in this way, and I would suggest continuing not to and relying on other legal means may be the best route forward.

Written and submitted from Starbucks, MK Centre , Milton Keynes, using the t-mobile wifi network.

3 replies on “GeoDRM data protection will it ever work ?”

Wouldn’t you want to maintain the origin of the data, rather than lock the data away? I see that as a much more useful and benefitial way of using rights management for geodata. We all know the sources are always in question. Especially in our environment that has traditionally been based on what some would call plagerism.

(First rule of Cartography: If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.)

Here’s a quote I find better every day:

“We think the natural tendency is for producers to worry too much about protecting their intellectual property. The important thing is to maximise the value of your intellectual property, not to protect it for the sake of protection. If you lose a little of your property when you sell it or rent it, that’s just a cost of doing business, along with depreciation, inventory losses, and obsolescence.”

— Information Rules, Carl Shaprio and Hal Varian, page 97.

Put another way, maximise the value not the protection. The value will of course merit some protection.

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