ACM/IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science

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Twenty-First Annual IEEE Symposium on

Logic in Computer Science (LICS 2006)

Paper: Managing Digital Rights using Linear Logic (at LICS 2006)

Authors: Adam Barth John C. Mitchell


Digital music players protect songs by enforcing licenses that convey specific rights for individual songs or groups of songs. For licenses specified in industry, we show that deciding whether a license authorizes a sequence of actions is NP-complete, with a restricted version of the problem solvable efficiently using a reduction to maximum network flow. The authorization algorithm used in industry is online, deciding which rights to exercise as actions occur, but we show that all online algorithms are necessarily non-monotonic: each allows actions under one license that it does not allow under a more flexible license. In one approach to achieving monotonicity, we exhibit the unique maximal set of licenses on which there exists a monotonic online algorithm. This set of well-behaved licenses induces an approximation algorithm by replacing each license with a well-behaved license. In a second approach, we consider allowing the player to revise its past decisions about which rights to exercise while still ensuring compliance with the license. We propose an efficient algorithm based on Linear Logic, with linear negation used to revise past decisions. We prove our algorithm monotonic, live, and sound with respect to the semantics of licenses.


    author = 	 {Adam Barth and John C. Mitchell},
    title = 	 {Managing Digital Rights using Linear Logic},
    booktitle =  {Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science (LICS 2006)},
    year =	 {2006},
    month =	 {August}, 
    pages =      {127--136},
    location =   {Seattle, Washington, USA}, 
    publisher =	 {IEEE Computer Society Press}

Last modified: 2022-10-3113:49
Sam Staton