Rights management tension

A comment to a recent post to my blog regarding rights management:

"Sounds like an innovation your customers don't really want/need. Stronger integrated rights management mainly benefits content owners, and allows the imposition of unreasonable limitations on content use. I am in particular talking about, for example, buying a song, and having it only be listenable from my one PC, and not be portable to my laptop, or my iPod, or some other device. So, this is why, I for one, am not enthused about these "innovations."

First, thanks for reading, and thanks for your comment!  Although I was using the RM example as, well, an example, I think you bring up some interesting points.

I understand the tension between the desire of content owners to protect their content, and the desire of consumers of content not to be restricted.  There have been RM schemes that have been very restricitve, and the kind of symptoms that you describe have been painful for folks.  And I think that is precisely why we need to have a common, flexible, transparant rights management platform that makes it easy to migrate content from one device to another.  Stronger rights management benefits content owners.  More transparent rights management benfits both owners and consumers.  And enterprises, too, are very interested in being able to apply rights management to business documents.  We use this internally at Microsoft.  Powerpoint presentations that are for internal use only get rights managed.  Even if someone copies them off of a file share onto the internet, the content stays protected.

I also think content consumers benefit from rights management as a technology.  Content owners are more comfortable making content available electronically, if they enforce their licensing policies.  Content comsumers get broader range of available content.