I’ve received a number of emails from people who were intrigued by the analysis in the previous piece of the dwindling of research and development in rights technologies in the United States in recent years.
So I decided to do a little more research. Using mostly figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), I have come up with a Rights Technologies R&D Index that takes into account two factors by country:
- Number of relevant papers published in IEEE and ACM journals and conference proceedings.
- Gross Expenditure on Research & Development (GERD*).
The index takes the number of papers published during a given time period and divides it into GERD. In other words, it gives an indication of how much effort a country spends on rights technologies research (including DRM, watermarking, fingerprinting, rights expression languages, licensing automation, etc.) that’s proportional to overall R&D spending as opposed to population or even GDP.
I examined IEEE and ACM search results from 2008 to date, the year from which the latest GERD figures are generally available.
The chart below shows the results. GERD (blue columns) is shown in US $Billions, with index on the left. RT Output (red columns) is shown as a proportion of the world’s rights technologies research output coming from that country, normalized to GERD for an “apples to apples” comparison. Finally, the green line is the Rights Technologies R&D Index, which is a ratio of research output to GERD.
By the way, the countries with the next tiers of activity behind these are mostly European: Greece, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Morocco, Finland, Ireland, Singapore, and UK.
Why is the US so far behind? What do you think? Here’s a poll. Feel free to add a comment if you have other ideas.
*Not to be confused with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, which is what you find if you do a Google search on GERD.