Digital rights management is a way to protect copyrighted digital media. Understanding the protection of copyrighted material, such as photos, audio, or video, may be challenging, but we’re here to help. Learn more about digital rights management, its functions, use cases, and benefits.
Digital rights management, digital restrictions management, or DRM, is a technology created to protect the copyright of digital content and media assets from being stolen, shared, sold, or altered illegally. Simply put, DRM gives publishers and authors more power over what other parties can or cannot do with their created content.
The development of the digital world and modern technology has led to piracy, which infringes copyright laws and may result in financial or legal consequences. With tools like torrent sites, copyrighted digital assets such as audio, video, or images are easily accessible to the masses.
Although DRM software cannot catch people illegally exploiting copyrights, DRM makes it more difficult for exploiters to steal and copy content.
The primary purpose of DRM is to protect digital content, such as music, videos, e-books, and software, from unauthorized access, copying, distribution, or modification. In short, it prevents copyright infringement.
Implementation of DRM technologies and policies is usually enforced by codes that restrict copying or limit the time and number of devices on which a user can access particular content. Once digital content is encrypted, only authorized individuals with a decryption key and a digital certificate to verify their identity can access the content.
Multiple DRM tools offer features that you can use to safeguard your copyrights and manage who can access them within designated content parameters. These tools can help you to:
Only authorized users can access your content without restrictions as soon as you implement your protection strategy. Even though it may be hard to track anyone who engages in online piracy, you can prevent copying and distribution of your artwork, videos, confidential files, documents, and software in the first place.
Artists, music producers, video creators, writers, businesses, software developers, and other rightful owners of media assets use DRM to prevent unauthorized use, copying, modification, and misuse of intellectual property. Here are some of the most common use cases of DRM:
Data protection regulations are beneficial for individuals and companies alike. Besides protecting copyrights, it has many more perks — here are some:
DRM-protected content refers to digital materials, like movies, music, e-books, images, and software, that is encrypted to restrict access for unauthorized individuals. Such technology is constructed to ensure that only paying users can access and use copyrighted content and protect the rights of content owners.
For example, music and movie streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, or Hulu use DRM strategies to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted content. Online bookstores like Amazon’s Kindle Store use DRM tools to prevent unauthorized copying and modification of books. PC and console games implement DRM systems to avoid piracy.
DRM protects intellectual property, ensures compliance with licensing agreements, provides a revenue stream, and prevents media and software piracy. However, DRM is not without its drawbacks. DRM may create inconvenience for users because you usually need an internet connection to verify eligibility for content access and tech-savvy individuals can circumvent DRM-protected content.
DRM-protected and DRM-free content are two options for content creators distributing their art, documents, and software. The difference is that DRM-protected content comes with protective measures to prohibit unauthorized access, while DRM-free content is not.
Copyright protection, piracy prevention, and ensuring compliance with licensing agreements are a few of the main DRM-protected content advantages. However, DRM-protected content may limit paying users’ ability to use it however they want.
Therefore, DRM-free content gives users more freedom to use and share content they have purchased while, on the other hand, increasing the risk of piracy and unauthorized distribution.
Considering the pros and cons of DRM-protected content, the decision to use DRM protection or not depends on the specific needs and goals of the content creator or distributor.
Want to read more like this?
Get the latest news and tips from NordVPN.
We value your privacy