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Protecting 3D Graphics Content

The digital rights management problem of protecting data from theft and misuse has been addressed for many information types, including software code, digital images, and audio files. Few technological solutions are designed specifically to protect interactive 3D graphics content.Demand for ways to protect 3D graphical models is significant and growing. Contemporary 3D digitization technologies allow the efficient creation of accurate 3D models of many physical objects. For example, our Stanford Digital Michelangelo Project [3] has developed a high-resolution digital archive of 10 of Michelangelo's large statues, including the David (see the sidebar "Generating a Replica of Michelangelo's David"). These statues represent the artistic patrimony of Italy's cultural institutions, and our contract with the Italian authorities permits distribution of the 3D models only to established scholars for noncommercial use. Though everyone involved would like the models to be available for any constructive purpose, the digital 3D model of the David would quickly be pirated if it were distributed without protection; simulated marble replicas would be manufactured outside the provisions of the parties authorizing creation of the model.

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