How DRM works - Howstuffworks "How Digital Rights...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Main > Computer > Software How Digital Rights Management Works by Julia Layton Introduction to How Digital Rights Management Works In 2005, Sony sold millions of "special" music CDs to consumers who thought they were getting regular old compact discs. When people played these CDs on their computer, what happened in many cases was the equivalent of a spyware nightmare: Programs froze up, applications slowed and a series of hidden files that were the source of the problem proved to be nearly impossible to uninstall. Why would Sony do this to its customers? The answer is "to protect its copyright." The digital revolution that has empowered consumers to use digital content in new and innovative ways has also made it nearly impossible for copyright holders to control the distribution of their property. Enter "digital rights management," or DRM. In this article, we'll find out what DRM is, how copyright holders are implementing the concept and what the future holds for digital content control. DRM Basics Digital rights management is a far-reaching term. It encompasses any scheme to control access to copyrighted material using technological means. In essence, DRM removes usage control from the person in possession of digital content and puts it in the hands of a computer program. The applications and methods are endless -- here are just a few examples of digital rights management: z A company sets its servers to block the forwarding of sensitive e - mail . z An e-book server restricts access to, copying and printing of material based on constraints set by the copyright holder of the content. z A movie studio includes software on its DVDs that limits the number of copies a user can make to two. z A music label releases titles on a type of CD that includes bits of information intended to confuse ripping software. While many consumers see DRM methods as overly restrictive -- especially those methods employed by the movie and music industries -- digital rights management is nonetheless trying to solve a legitimate problem. The distribution of digital content over the Internet via file - sharing networks has made traditional copyright law obsolete in practice. Every time someone downloads an MP3 file of a copyrighted song from a free file-sharing network instead of buying the CD, the music label that owns the copyright and the artist who created the song lose money. In the case of the movie industry, some estimates place revenue losses from illegal distribution of DVD content at around $5 billion a year. The nature of the Internet makes it impractical to try to sue every person who breaks the law in this way, so companies are trying to regain control of distribution by making it technologically impossible for consumers to make digital copies. The problem is that when you buy a DVD, it's perfectly legal for you to make a copy of it for your own
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course CPT CPT 105 taught by Professor Dellacorte during the Spring '07 term at Franklin CH.

Page1 / 5

How DRM works - Howstuffworks "How Digital Rights...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online