Carrying out the concepts of trust and policy management is not trivial. We need languages and ways in which we can identify principals. In some of this space, we need to identify principals in an anonymous way. P3P addresses some of this, but I am not sure whether it will do everything that we want without things like exception mechanisms. We need credentials and an artificial intelligence compliance checker. These are not universally available, but there is a drive to make them more available because of their usefulness in commerce. Until these things are embedded in such a way that people interact with automated systems in a natural fashion, it is difficult to believe that the mechanisms will have widespread effectiveness. Some of the research needs to focus on how people interact with these systems.

InterTrust has embedded a trust management system that adheres to these principles into the systems deployed on behalf of its partners. We also play another important role. There must be an administrator; someone has to be copyrighted as the root source of trust. This must be a utility-like function, that is, carried out by someone who specializes in doing these types of things and does not compete with the people for whom these mechanisms are deployed, because there could be bias.

Do we have competitors? Yes, we have competitors. In spaces such as music, our main competitor is Microsoft, which, interestingly enough, does not have the utility-like attribute. Microsoft competes with many service providers, which is what they (the service providers) are afraid of (in making Microsoft a gatekeeper, through their DRM). People expect InterTrust, as an impartial trusted party, not to compete with them as we deploy these types of mechanisms. We are putting legal structures in place to ensure that this happens. DRM is all that we do. We charge a utility fee, which I think is 60 basis points on transactions that use the technology. The reason the Universal music group, Bertelsmann, and a few others have looked kindly on us is because of our impartiality in that we do not compete with them. But we have also heard that they think that 60 basis points is a “cheap date.”

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