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Chapter 25. Using Outlook Securely > Information Rights Management

Information Rights Management

Outlook 2003 includes one very large new feature: information rights management (IRM). Rights management is a hot topic these days. Ever since the launch of Web sites such as Napster, the recording industry has been very vocal in its support of rights management. The gist of the rights management debate is that if someone wants to restrict access to their own content, they should be able to do so. So, a recording artist can put out a CD and have a reasonable expectation that everyone who wants to play that CD will purchase a copy.


Information rights management is slightly different. It deals with the transfer of confidential or sensitive information between individuals. If you send a private email to your boss informing him of theft of company materials by another employee, you do not want him to forward your email to that employee. You probably don't even want him to print a copy of that email. IRM gives the author control over the content she creates. The author can use IRM to prevent an email from being forwarded, printed, copied, or otherwise distributed.


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