Report Number: CS-TR-98-1607
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: A Network-Centric Design for Relationship-Based Rights Management
Author: Roscheisen, Martin
Date: May 1998
Abstract: Networked environments such as the Internet provide a new platform for communication and information access. In this thesis, we address the question of how to articulate and enforce boundaries of control on top of this platform, while enabling collaboration and sharing in a peer-to-peer environment. We develop the concepts and technologies for a new Internet service layer, called FIRM, that enables structured rights/relationship management. Using a prototype implementation, RManage, we show how FIRM makes it possible to unify rights/relationship management from a user-centered perspective and to support full end-to-end integration of shared control state in network services and users' client applications. We present a network-centric architecture for managing control information, which generalizes previous, client/server-based models to a peer-to-peer environment. Principles and concepts from contract law are used to identify a generic way of representing the shared structure of different kinds of relationships.