This paper, as part of the final requirement for the completion of a Master of Science in Information Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, will examine the current state of digital media content and its inherent problems with regard to rendering and distribution. Discussions will focus on the protection and sales of digitalized intellectual property through Digital Rights Management (DRM) while also concentrating on how these technologies can be employed to acquire copyright protection. Though much of the discussion may apply to a wide range of media types, e.g. - movies, software and digital books, the primary focus will be on music content. Part 1 of the paper will explore the current state of the music industry and the problems it faces, while building a case for the application of digital protection technologies that will ensure the integrity of digital music copyright ownership. The concept of DRM will then be presented in Part 2, with a focused discussion on several of the underpinning technologies. Strong emphasis will be placed on how these technologies can be utilized to reach the final goal, secure sales of online music content. The final section, Part 3, will examine how DRM can be applied by the music industry to safeguard their interests while promoting an online business. Case studies will be presented in an attempt to gain an understanding of the current state of the industry.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Music trade--Technological innovations--United States; Digital rights management; Copyright--Music; Intellectual property; Data protection; Data encryption (Computer science); Digital watermarking

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type



Dan Garrison

Advisor/Committee Member

Al Biles

Advisor/Committee Member

Steve Jacobs


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at ML3790 .R65 2003


RIT – Main Campus