Aboriginal digital rights management

The BBC is carrying an interesting article that shows cultural anthropologists and software developers working together to document and preserve the history of some indigenous peoples of Australia. The challenge is that not just any person is permitted to view certain images:

Dr Christian, who is an assistant professor based at Washington State University, stumbled across the idea of the archive by chance after meeting a group of missionaries who had digitally archived photos of the Warumungu community since the 1930s.
After loading them onto her laptop, she took them back to Tennant Creek and set up a slideshow - where she noticed that people turned away when certain images came up on screen.
For example, men cannot view women's rituals, and people from one community cannot view material from another without first seeking permission. Meanwhile images of the deceased cannot be viewed by their families.

The technology to do this sort of database is straightforward -- it's the same sort of thing that allows different people at a university to have access to student records depending on their needs and rights level. Making it user-friendly and automatic can be a challenge, and I think it's wonderful that anthropologists and computer developers could forge a partnership in this way.