What DRM and what can it mean far as backing up my originals that i dont what the kids to get a hold of does this mean the end of my movie buying:confused:
DRM is short for Digital Rights Management (although some say it means Digital Restrictions Management). It’s a set of technologies that’s restricts how you can use digital content like music, video, and software. DRM is designed to stop or limit you from copying, converting, or accessing digital media.
DRM can block you from viewing something like an ebook on a device other than your ebook reader. It can stop you from ripping a CD or converting an audio file from one format to another. Or, it can prevent you from installing software (like games) on multiple computers.
How it works is fairly simple. DRM applies encryption, in the form of a digital signature, to a file or a piece of software. The signature is like a unique stamp, telling the hardware or operating system software that whether or not it’s OK for them to play together.
If the device or operating system on your desktop computer or laptop computer doesn’t mesh with the digital signature of the file, then the file will be useless to you or you won’t be able to install the software. Often, DRM is tied to one piece of hardware. If, for example, you have an MP3 file with DRM applied to it, that file might only play on one computer or MP3 player.
There are, and have been, a number of DRM schemes. Some of the more widely-used ones are Windows Media DRM and Apple’s FairPlay. You can read more about some of the better-known DRM schemes here.
Examples of DRM
As mentioned a few paragraphs ago, DRM can be applied to any digital file. Like what? How about an electronic book. Most ebook readers and reader software for computers have a unique ID. Some ebook sellers require you to register the IDs of those devices when you buy an ebook. A digital signature is applied to the ebook before you download it, and you can only read the ebook on those devices.
With digital television, many transmissions have a form of DRM called a broadcast flag applied to them. The broadcast flag indicates whether or not you can record the digital transmission and, if you can, what restrictions there are on recording it.
Microsoft Office (2003 and later) allows business users to apply DRM to word processor and spreadsheet files. If the business is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, all that Office users need to do is click a toolbar icon to restrict permissions on a file. If anyone wants to read the file, they’ll need to get the author’s permission and get an add-on for Internet Explorer.
The content providers that advocate and use DRM technologies will tell you that they’re protecting their interests. They argue that every book, movie, or MP3 that’s copied is one less book, movie, or MP3 that they can sell.
DRM restrictions, though, treat consumers like potential thieves. That’s not a healthy relationship, and overlooks the value of viral marketing. Case in point: last year, a friend passed me a couple of MP3 files by a musician named Zoe Keating. I loaded the MP3s on my media player, and listened to the music while commuting. I was so impressed that I went out and bought another of Keating’s albums. If the MP3 files that my friend passed my way had DRM applied to them, then I might not have ever heard Zoe Keating or bought one of her discs