Two weeks ago, PrintMedia InBox brought you the story of Napster and its effects on the publishing industry. This week, Reciprocal's General Manager Matthew Moynahan talks about how digital rights management is coming out of the shadows and onto online portals everywhere.
PrintMedia InBox: How does Napster's file-sharing format effect publishing in general?
Matthew Moynahan: Napster increases CD and book shipment over the Internet. Napster validates what we do. As a distribution model, it's powerful—it won't go away.
InBox: How does a company like Reciprocal tackle this process?
Moynahan: Unprotected file swapping isn't legitimate. We develop applications to outsource digital content with encryption technology through applications to plug encryption technology into material to control royalty and shipment.
InBox: What content is most at stake?
Moynahan: e-Books and music.
InBox: How has your business model changed to appease growing customer concern? Or has it?
Moynahan: At Reciprocal, we have 80-plus customers now, including Sony, BMG, Reuters, HarperCollins and Time Warner-AOL. They're huge companies with stake in how content is distributed safely.
InBox: What do those customers want?
Moynahan: Secure digitization and distribution, while making content broadly available. It allows publishers to focus on what they do best—creation. The greatest fear for publishers is that libraries will go the way of Napster. Boundaries that exist in the physical world, don't exist in the electronic.
InBox: What trends do you foresee for digital rights management?
Moynahan: Protected subscription models. Subscription's where it's at because of the discreet nature of the product. Everything will eventually be about having access to online catalogs to subscribe to content. Subscriptions are the music world's revolution. Publishers are following through, too. It's nothing new. Over time, digital rights will be negotiated differently. The notion of global rights will be increasingly important. If content is king—secure digitization is the next step up from it.