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SAE Removes �FileOpen� Digital Rights Management for Students, Faculty

WARRENDALE, Pa., Nov. 6, 2007 - In 2008 students and faculty will be able to use SAE International’s Digital Library of Technical Papers in academic settings without the former restrictions.

As recommended by a special task force, the SAE International. Publications Board voted Oct. 31 to eliminate the use of the “FileOpen” plug-in on digital library products for licensees at colleges, universities and other academic institutions.

Composed of university professors, librarians, publications board members and staff publishing professionals, the Special DRM Task Force was charged with making recommendations to improve the “ease-of-use” of the Society’s Digital Library of Technical Papers in academic settings. This group concluded that the special information needs of students and faculty members would be best served in a more open environment -- without the digital rights management restrictions imposed by a file security system resident at the client computer level.

“The academic community spoke out and SAE listened,” said John Kinstler, chairman of the DRM Task Force.  In academia, use of the SAE digital library of technical papers without “FileOpen” restrictions will be introduced in the first quarter of 2008.

The “FileOpen” form of digital rights management was applied on certain SAE information products for nearly two years. Some in the academic community had concern that the “File Open” model limited full and easy access to valuable literature and knowledge. The “FileOpen” plug-in controls placed limits on downloading, printing, e-mailing and file-sharing options available to the user.  Specific controls are set by the publisher.

 “SAE remains committed to protection of its intellectual property rights and related digital rights management,” Mike Madley, chairman of the SAE Publications Board, said.   “We seek to find the right compromise between ease-of-use for legitimate licensees and IP protection for SAE.   With the elimination of the “FileOpen” approach to DRM, SAE will increase its emphasis on other DRM methods, including closer monitoring of download activity of licensees via automated, electronic methods.  SAE will also add other IP protection techniques, including ‘watermark’ document identification to more easily track abuses when they occur.”

FileOpen is a registered tradename of FileOpen Systems, Inc.