Drm stands for Digital Rights Management. It concerns about some restriction techniques of transferring and using digital contents. It is widely used in video and audio contents. It is also used in other media files but with a narrow range. Some people interpret DRM as Digital Restrictions Management as it concerns mainly about the free use issues not the user rights.
Indeed, a sturdy system to permit only the paying users to get the service and access the files was urgently needed. It should come with some techniques to protect digital content producers from piracy. With such system, the profits for producers and distributors will not drop down, and the sales will not declined. This system assures the existing of such digital products in the market.
Supporters of the users usually try to talk about the liberties and the unfair fettered use of such digital content. Actually, by these types of control by producers, the creativity and the consumers' right will be affected badly. These controls may be on the number of computers that allowed opening such contents and/or the number of times users can open and play those files.
The fair-use clauses in copyright statements guarantee unrestricted use in specific situations. On the other hand, DRM techniques cannot offer sufficient advantages for fair use and still limit the legal use of files.
CSS or Content Scrambling System is the most prominent argument of the DRM systems. This system was created by DVD Consortium to encode DVD movie files. In fact, it prevents DVD manufactures to produce some features in their DVD such as digital-out; this feature gives the opportunity to copy DVD movies without any difficulty.
Nowadays numerous programs for removing the DRM are appeared. They recreate the encoded media files to be free of any limitations. So you can remove DRM from wmv or from mp4 or from any other video type.
Decss is a tool that breaks the algorithm of CSS. It allows users to make copies of CSS-encrypted movies and opening them on different platforms. Naturally, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act term is used to say that the using of DeCSS is illegal.
Again, many supporters in the computer science sphere claim that the DMCA is against creativity and freedom due to excessively severe restrictions.
Examples of DRM
Drm may be used in audio files. If you picked some audio files from apple`s store, you are allowed to play them on a certain number of devices.
eBooks` publisher may apply DRM to restrict the number of computers eBook may be opened on and how many how many times it may be viewed.
Moreover, TV's shows producer had started to implement DRM by using the TiVo system.
Briefly, DRM is a technology that protect producers of different digital contents especially video/ audio`s from piracy. But it does not give much care of users and the security, fair use and creativity issues. While some DRM removing programs are out there, other terms appear to make these programs illegal for using.