EC-GATE: An Infrastructure for DRM

Antonio Mana, Mariemma I. Yague, Vicente Benjumea


DRM technologies include a range of functions to support the management of intellectual property for digital resources, such as expression of rights and obligations, description, identification, trading, protection, monitoring and tracking of digital content. This paper presents the EC-GATE system, a general framework capable of supporting very heterogeneous DRM applications and scenarios. This system enables content owners to enforce access control policies, copyright agreements, payments and other obligations, to digital objects in a distributed environment. The idea of this work is that the security requirements of all processes related to the secure transmission and commerce of digital contents can be fulfilled if we guarantee that the software running at the other side of the communication line is protected. To achieve what we call "protected software" we must ensure that it is neither possible to discover nor to alter the function that the software performs and it is also impossible to impersonate the software. The solution that we present is also based on the notion of "secure container", a protected package of data and administrative information. Our solution uses mobile software elements to convey the protected contents and force the user to fulfill the obligations previously established by the content owner before granting the rights and access to these contents. EC-GATE also includes components for authorization and management.

Keywords: Authorization, Access control, DRM