DRM Paradiso

DRM Paradiso is a system which allows customers who buy music (or other digital content) from an online distribution store to also buy rights to resell the song to his friends in a controlled manner! So, if you see that a friend of yours has a latest cool song and you want to buy it, you don't have to wait till you get back online, you can just buy the song from your friend directly! You, the customer would also become the reseller. This opens up a whole range of business model based on commission, one-off-sale or others that are yet unexplored. The unique aspect of the system is that the reselling process takes place without having to contact the online store and hence the exchange can take place any time, any where!

Sample Scenario

A content owner uploads a digital content, say a song, onto the online content provider system. He then decides on various parameters like the price, resell depth etc. A consumer Bob contacts the provider and asks for a copy of the song. He pays for the content. He has a suspicion that his friends may also like the song. So he decides to buy 10 reselling rights for the song from the provider. Later that day he meets Mark in the pub and lets him know about the song he has. Mark says "Cool, can I have a copy?" Bob resells one copy to Mark. The next day at office, near the water cooler Bob sells another song to Eric. Eric has heard his friend Alice mention some time go that she would love to have that song. So Eric also buys one resell rights to the song. While on his evening jog in the park Eric meets Alice and uses the bought right to sell her a copy.

How did it all start?

This idea started taking shape way back in early 2005 and gained a concrete form with the publishing of our paper detailing the cryptographic protocol involved, titled "Enabling DRM-preserving Digital Content Redistribution" at 7th International IEEE Conference on E-Commerce Technology, Munich, Germany, in 2005. We followed this up with a Technical Report titled "Nuovo DRM Paradiso: Formal specification and verification of a DRM protocol" wherein we refined the protocol to avoid some attacks and used formal verification methods to ensure that the new protocol is secure.

We then went on to design and build a prototype of the system on Neuros Developer Board (Beta), showing that it is indeed feasible to build such a content redistribution system.

What is the current status of the project?

We have designed and built a prototype that demostrates the working of our architecture. While the prototype is nowhere near a complete usable product, we consider it a big step in demonstrating that such products are possible using currently available technological know-how.

Masters Projects

If you are doing your Masters at VU, you may be interested in the Masters projects we are offering on issues related to DRM Paradiso. If you are interested in working on any other aspects of the system which are not listed on the page, please feel free to email me.

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If you would like to get a masters degree in our department, check out the (English-language) program in Parallel and Distributed Systems.