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Title: Design of effective digital rights management strategies : the role of economics
Authors: Zhang, Jin
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Digital rights management (DRM) technologies are the technique utilized by service providers (SPs) to control and manage the use of digital goods, including the provision, safekeeping, offer creation, distribution, booking, payment, authorization, and consumption of these goods. DRM is however not just a technology issue, but rather more significantly an economics issue, as the utility to SPs and to users plays a vital role in its operation. This thesis focuses primarily on the effectiveness, flexibility and serviceability of DRM from an economics perspective, and considers the benefit to SPs and end users where DRM is used with peer-to-peer streaming (P2PS) and mobile cloud computing. To provide an effective DRM service for the users of P2PS systems, we model the DRM for P2PS systems using various game-theoretic models. We firstly model DRM in terms of SP and user utility, proposing a design for DRM policy based on homogeneous peers and homogeneous digital goods, which gets maximal utility for the SP as well as the criterion that measures whether the DRM is suitable for a P2PS system. Another game model is then used to analyze how a peer deals with digital goods with regard to the various different operating conditions in P2PS systems with DRM, as well as the SP's responses to the peer's actions. Static and dynamic games are constructed to explore three notorious peer misbehaviors: freeriding, jailbreaking and whitewashing. We use examples to demonstrate how these games work in P2PS systems with DRM, and as well as the equilibria that are established in these games. This is then used to derive the condition required to ensure that misbehaviors do not become the dominant strategies in both static and dynamic games. Numerical experiments are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the strategies devised from these games.
Merely illustrating the effectiveness of a DRM service is not enough, however; flexibility cannot be ignored. We hence take into account the requirements of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) users, in order to increase the DRM service flexibility. As BYOD users are allowed to leverage their personal mobile devices for work related tasks, and purchase various digital goods (such as mobile cloud services and apps) for both work and personal purposes via the same mobile device, this brings serious security risks to both personal and business uses. BYOD users generally employ DRM to control and manage the execution of the digital goods in both cases. Their security demands of digital goods used for work are however quite different from those used for personal tasks, and the conventional unified cloud-based DRM service model lacks the flexibility to satisfy BYOD users' diversified security demands. In this thesis, we utilize the security of digital goods as a metric for differentiating DRM service into grades. Such differentiated DRM service increases the flexibility of digital goods' security, allowing BYOD users to choose their preferred DRM grades in order to maximize their utility. Differentiated DRM service moreover increases the revenue of the SP, even when multiple SPs are in competition with each other. Quantitative experiments are further conducted to demonstrate and confirm the effectiveness of our scheme. In this thesis, we also discuss the serviceability of DRM,and apply it as a means to decrease the mobile traffic caused by the explosive growth of mobile applications. Such mobile traffic can easily exceed the capacity of a cloud service due to the bandwidth limits of last mile connections to the cloud, and the legacy backhaul connections to macrocells' base stations. This degrades mobile applications' quality of service as it requires mobile devices to spend more time on data transmission, hence consuming more battery power. It also requires cloud providers to make huge investments in updating their infrastructure, a cost which is inevitably borne by all mobile users. To resolve this issue, we propose a so-called community clinic solution, in which a cloudlet group is embedded between the cloud and mobile users, in order to reduce the potentially massive deployment cost of the cloud's data centers and reduce the battery power consumed by mobile devices. We first show that mobile devices can reduce their energy consumption by choosing the service provided by the cloudlet group. We then model the systems with and without the cloudlet group as two different types of supply chains, and prove that the cloudlet group can increase the cloud's profit without putting any additional cost on mobile users. A real-time group-buying auction is also proposed for the cloudlet group, to promote its service to nearby mobile users at a lower price and maximize its profit. This community clinic arrangement can result in a win-win-win outcome among the cloud, cloudlet group and mobile users. Quantitative experiments are further conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of this scheme.
Subjects: Digital rights management -- Economic aspects.
Copyright and electronic data processing -- Economic aspects.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: xx, 161 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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