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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Related Guidance Policy
Definition/ Description Digital Rights Management can be defined as a set of technologies that are used with the intent to control the access and use of digital content and devices (via APARSEN WP31, source

PREMIS mentions “inhibitors”: Features of the object intended to inhibit access, use, or migration.
OAIS page 1-8: “Access Rights Information: The information that identifies the access restrictions pertaining to the Content Information, including the legal framework, licensing terms, and access control. It contains the access and distribution conditions stated within the Submission Agreement, related to both preservation (by the OAIS) and final usage (by the Consumer). It also includes the specifications for the application of rights enforcement measures.”
When applicable access to the digital collections should be in line with higher level access policies of the organisation as an organisation might have general access rules for their collections that need to be followed.
Why Access to digital information can be restricted by digital rights. This can be incorporated in the digital object itself (for example by passwords) or as a general agreement with the producer of a collection or related to (inter-) national laws. Over the years, the digital rights will need to be enforced in a changing environment. This might influence the digital rights and the reputation of the organisation  It is therefore important that an organisation has a policy in which it is describe which rights are relevant and how the organisation intend to deal with them. 
More on this at Rights; Deposit Agreement
Access rights could be applicable for part of the User Community (for example only users that have Library  membership will have access to a certain collection) or for specific collections.
The management of the digital rights can take place in a separate system. Some digital right information can be added to the digital object via metadata.
Risks Lack of a policy might lead to infringement of rights of 3rd parties and could also enable inappropriate or too restricted access
Life cycle stage Community Watch and Participation, Preservation Planning, Appraisal and select, Access, use and reuse
Stakeholder Producer/depositor: need to give information about DRM and give input for policy
Consumer: see Designated Community
Management: will create DRM policy in line with organisational goals
Cross Reference Metadata -> rights
Examples Yale University Library Policy: “Access:
In preserving the accessibility of digital resources, the Library will:
o Maintain information regarding rights and permissions governing access.
Control Policy Digital Rights Management is likely to be enforced by the digital object management system, and although it will be codified, it is unlikely to be used in control policies for planning and watch activities.
Questions to foster discussions
  • Has your organisation identified digital rights for a specific user community, for example students, elderly users, commercial users etc.
  • Has your organisation identified digital rights for a specific collection?
  • Has your organisation identified any geographic restrictions that might have implications for giving access to your collection?
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