Again, in no particular order:
- The level of conflict is at an all-time high, especially in the consumer space, as illustrated by the the RIAA and MPAA lawsuits against consumers and by the virtual demonization of the media companies by certain consumer advocates.
- Having settled the InterTrust patent lawsuit, Microsoft is now embedding rights management closer to and within the operating system, which is the right foundation for efficient security.
- The sale vs rental battle between Apple and Real is a positive harbinger of business model experimentation enabled by DRM with increased security and greater flexibility.
- Open source is now an important idea in many markets. It will be most interesting to see how the open source advocates deal with DRM in the enterprise markets, especially if open source desktop applications become more widely adopted. The potential ideological conflict between the open source community, large enterprises, and licensors of DRM-relevant patents is already fascinating to contemplate.
- The US regulatory context has fueled demand in the Enterprise market: HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley are examples.