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Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM) are a set of
access control In the fields of physical security and information security, access control (AC) is the selective restriction of access to a place or other resource while access management describes the process. The act of ''accessing'' may mean consuming, e ...

access control
technologies for restricting the use of
proprietary hardware Proprietary hardware is computer hardware Computer hardware includes the physical parts of a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern compute ...
and
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
ed works. DRM technologies try to control the use, modification, and distribution of copyrighted works (such as
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
and multimedia content), as well as systems within devices that enforce these policies. Worldwide, many laws have been created which criminalize the circumvention of DRM, communication about such circumvention, and the creation and distribution of tools used for such circumvention. Such laws are part of the United States'
Digital Millennium Copyright Act The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Americ ...
, and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
's
Information Society Directive The Information Society Directive (familiarly when first proposed, the Copyright Directive) is a directive of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member s ...
(the French
DADVSI DADVSI (generally pronounced as ''dadsi'') is the abbreviation of the French language, French ''Loi sur le Droit d'Auteur et les Droits Voisins dans la Société de l'Information'' (in English: "law on authors' rights and related rights in the info ...
is an example of a member state of the European Union ("EU") implementing the directive). Common DRM techniques include restrictive
licensing agreement A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Englis ...
s: The access to digital materials, copyright and public domain is restricted to consumers as a condition of entering a website or when downloading software.
Encryption In cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logy, -logia'', "study", respectively), is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in ...

Encryption
, scrambling of expressive material and embedding of a tag, which is designed to control access and reproduction of information, including backup copies for personal use. DRM technologies enable content publishers to enforce their own access policies on content, such as restrictions on copying or viewing. These technologies have been criticized for restricting individuals from copying or using the content legally, such as by
fair use Fair use is a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the ...
. DRM is in common use by the
entertainment industry Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In and , interest is payment from a or deposit-taking financial institution to a or depositor of an amount above repayment of the (that is, the amount borrowed ...
(''e.g.'', audio and video publishers). Many
online music store A digital music store is a business that sells digital audio files of music recordings over the Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the I ...
s, such as
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
's
iTunes Store The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media Digital media means any media (communication), communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data formats. Digital media can be created, v ...

iTunes Store
, and
e-book An ebook (short for electronic book), also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, ...

e-book
publishers and vendors, such as OverDrive, also use DRM, as do cable and satellite service operators, to prevent unauthorized use of content or services. However, Apple dropped DRM from all iTunes music files around 2009. Industry has expanded the usage of DRM to more traditional hardware products, such as
Keurig Keurig () is a beverage brewing system for home and commercial use. The machines are manufactured by the American company Keurig Dr Pepper Keurig Dr Pepper Inc., formerly Keurig Green Mountain (2014–2018) and originally Green Mountain Coffee R ...

Keurig
's
coffeemaker A coffeemaker or coffee machine is a cooking Small appliance, appliance used to brew coffee. While there are many different types of coffeemakers using several different brewing principles, in the most common devices, coffee grounds are placed i ...
s,
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer t ...

Philips
'
light bulb An electric light is a device that produces visible light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum ...

light bulb
s,
mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets ...
power chargers, and
John Deere John Deere () is the brand name of Deere & Company, an American corporation that manufactures agricultural machinery, heavy equipment, forestry machinery, diesel engines, drivetrains (axles, transmissions, gearboxes) used in heavy equipment, and ...

John Deere
's
tractor A tractor is an engineering vehicle Heavy equipment or heavy machinery refers to heavy-duty vehicle Truck classifications are typically based upon the maximum loaded weight of the truck, typically using the gross vehicle weight ratin ...

tractor
s. For instance, tractor companies try to prevent farmers from making
DIY "Do it yourself" ("DIY") is the method of building, modifying, or repair The technical meaning of maintenance involves functional checks, servicing, repairing or replacing of necessary devices, equipment, machinery, building infrastruc ...
repairs The technical meaning of maintenance involves functional checks, servicing, repairing or replacing of necessary devices, equipment, machinery, building infrastructure, and supporting utilities in industrial, business, and residential installatio ...

repairs
under the usage of DRM-laws such as
DMCA The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Americ ...

DMCA
. The use of digital rights management is not always without controversy. DRM users argue that the technology is necessary to prevent
intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner o ...
such as media from being copied, just as physical locks are needed to prevent
personal property Personal property is property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the ...
from being stolen, that it can help the copyright holder maintain
artistic control Artistic control or creative control is a term commonly used in media production, such as movies, television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in m ...
, and to support licensing modalities such as rentals. Critics of DRM contend that there is no evidence that DRM helps prevent
copyright infringement Copyright infringement (at times referred to as piracy) is the use of works Works may refer to: People * Caddy Works Pierce "Caddy" Works (January 2, 1896 – July 19, 1982) was an American basketball and baseball coach. He was the head ba ...
, arguing instead that it serves only to inconvenience legitimate customers, and that DRM can stifle innovation and competition. Furthermore, works can become permanently inaccessible if the DRM scheme changes or if the service is discontinued. DRM can also restrict users from exercising their
legal rights Natural rights and legal rights are two types of rights. * Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are ''universal'', ''fundamental Fundamental may refer to: * Foun ...
under the copyright law, such as backing up copies of CDs or DVDs (instead having to buy another copy, if it can still be purchased), lending materials out through a library, accessing works in the
public domain The public domain consists of all the creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, wr ...

public domain
, or using copyrighted materials for research and education under the
fair use doctrine Fair use is a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the ...
.


Introduction

The rise of digital media and analog-to-digital conversion technologies has vastly increased the concerns of copyright-owning individuals and organizations, particularly within the music and movie industries. While analog media inevitably lose quality with each copy generation, and in some cases even during normal use, digital media files may be duplicated an unlimited number of times with no degradation in the quality. The rise of
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s as household appliances has made it convenient for consumers to convert media (which may or may not be copyrighted) originally in a physical, analog or broadcast form into a universal, digital form (this process is called
ripping Ripping is extracting all or parts of digital contents from a container. Originally, it meant to rip music out of Amiga The Amiga is a family of personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer A computer is a ma ...
) for portability or viewing later. This, combined with the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
and popular
file-sharing File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media Digital media means any media (communication), media that are encoded in Machine-readable data, machine-readable formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, di ...
tools, has made unauthorized distribution of copies of copyrighted digital media (also called digital piracy) much easier. In 1983, a very early implementation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) was the Software Service System (SSS) devised by the Japanese engineer Ryuichi Moriya. and subsequently refined under the name superdistribution. The SSS was based on encryption, with specialized hardware that controlled decryption and also enabled payments to be sent to the copyright holder. The underlying principle of the SSS and subsequently of superdistribution was that the distribution of encrypted digital products should be completely unrestricted and that users of those products would not just be permitted to redistribute them but would actually be encouraged to do so.


Technologies


Verifications


Product keys

One of the oldest and least complicated DRM protection methods for computer and Nintendo Entertainment System games was when the game would pause and prompt the player to look up a certain page in a booklet or manual that came with the game; if the player lacked access to such material, they would not be able to continue the game. A
product key A product key, also known as a software key, is a specific software-based key for a computer program A computer program is a collection of instructions that can be executed by a computer to perform a specific task. A computer program is usua ...
, a typically alphanumerical
serial number A serial number is a unique identifier A unique identifier (UID) is an identifier An identifier is a name that identifies (that is, labels the identity of) either a unique object or a unique ''class'' of objects, where the "object" or class ...

serial number
used to represent a license to a particular piece of software, served a similar function. During the installation process or launch for the software, the user is asked to input the key; if the key correctly corresponds to a valid license (typically via internal algorithms), the key is accepted, then the user who bought the game can continue. In modern practice, product keys are typically combined with other DRM practices (such as online "activation"), as the software could be
cracked Cracked may refer to: Television * Cracked (British TV series), ''Cracked'' (British TV series), a 2008 British comedy-drama television series that aired on STV * Cracked (Canadian TV series), ''Cracked'' (Canadian TV series), a 2013 Canadian crime ...
to run without a product key, or "
keygen A key generator (key-gen) is a computer program In imperative programming, a computer program is a sequence of instructions in a programming language that a computer can execute or interpret. In declarative programming, a ''computer program'' ...
" programs could be developed to generate keys that would be accepted.


Limited install activations

Some DRM systems limit the number of installations a user can activate on different computers by requiring authentication with an online server. Most games with this restriction allow three or five installs, although some allow an installation to be recovered when the game is uninstalled. This not only limits users who have more than three or five computers in their homes, but can also prove to be a problem if the user has to unexpectedly perform certain tasks like upgrading operating systems or reformatting the computer's storage device. In mid-2008, the Windows version of ''
Mass Effect ''Mass Effect'' is a military science fiction Military science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that features the use of science fiction technology, mainly science fiction weapons, weapons, for military purposes and usually principal c ...
'' marked the start of a wave of titles primarily making use of
SecuROM SecuROM was a compact disc, CD/DVD copy protection and digital rights management (DRM) Product (business), product developed by Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation, Sony DADC. It aims to prevent copyright infringement, unauthorised copying and reve ...
for DRM and requiring authentication with a server. The use of the DRM scheme in 2008's ''
Spore In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mecha ...
'' backfired and there were protests, resulting in a considerable number of users seeking an unlicensed version instead. This backlash against the three-activation limit was a significant factor in ''Spore'' becoming the most pirated game in 2008, with
TorrentFreak __NOTOC__ TorrentFreak (TF) is a blog A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical digit, digits right of the decimal point. Truncation and floor function Truncation of positi ...
compiling a "top 10" list with ''Spore'' topping the list. However, Tweakguides concluded that the presence of intrusive DRM does not appear to increase video game piracy, noting that other games on the list such as '' Call of Duty 4'' and ''
Assassin's Creed ''Assassin's Creed'' is an open-world#REDIRECT Open world In video games A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing ...
'' use DRM which has no install limits or online activation. Additionally, other video games that do use intrusive DRM such as ''
BioShock ''BioShock'' is a 2007 first-person shooter game developed by 2K Boston (later Irrational Games Irrational Games (known as 2K Boston between 2007 and 2009) was an American video game developer A video game developer is a software devel ...
'', ''
Crysis Warhead ''Crysis Warhead'' is a first-person shooter First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution of sound, audio or vi ...
'', and ''Mass Effect'', do not appear on the list.


Persistent online authentication

Many mainstream publishers continued to rely on
online In computer technology and telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over , radio, , or other systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication over a dista ...

online
DRM throughout the later half of 2008 and early 2009, including
Electronic Arts Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California, Redwood City, California. It is the second-largest List of video game companies, gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and m ...
,
Ubisoft Ubisoft Entertainment SA (; ; formerly Ubi Soft Entertainment SA) is a French video game company headquartered in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, Montreuil with development studios across the world. Its video game franchises include ''Assassin' ...
,
Valve A valve is a device or natural object that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid (gases, liquids, fluidized solids, or slurries A slurry composed of glass beads in silicone oil flowing down an inclined plane A slurry is a mix ...
, and
Atari Atari () is a brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972, currently by Atari Interactive Atari Interactive is a name used by several separate groups and corporations since the mid-1990s. In 1996, it was the name of Ata ...

Atari
, ''
The Sims 3 ''The Sims 3'' is a 2009 life simulation game, life simulation video game developed by the Redwood Shores studio of Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. Part of ''The Sims'' series, it is the sequel to ''The Sims 2''. It was released on June 2, ...
'' being a notable exception in the case of Electronic Arts. Ubisoft broke with the tendency to use online DRM in late 2008, with the release of ''Prince of Persia'' as an experiment to "see how truthful people really are" regarding the claim that DRM was inciting people to use illegal copies. Although Ubisoft has not commented on the results of the "experiment", Tweakguides noted that two torrents on
Mininova Mininova was a website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are wikipedia.org, google.c ...
had over 23,000 people downloading the game within 24 hours of its release. Ubisoft formally announced a return to online authentication on 9 February 2010, through its
Uplay Ubisoft Connect (formerly Uplay) is a digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of digital me ...

Uplay
online game platform, starting with '' Silent Hunter 5'', '' The Settlers 7'', and ''
Assassin's Creed II ''Assassin's Creed II'' is a 2009 Action-adventure game, action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montréal and published by Ubisoft. It is the second major installment in the Assassin's Creed, ''Assassin's Creed'' series, a sequel to 20 ...
''. ''Silent Hunter 5'' was first reported to have been compromised within 24 hours of release, but users of the cracked version soon found out that only early parts of the game were playable. The Uplay system works by having the installed game on the local PCs incomplete and then continuously downloading parts of the game-code from Ubisoft's servers as the game progresses. It was more than a month after the PC release in the first week of April that software was released that could bypass Ubisoft's DRM in ''Assassin's Creed II''. The software did this by emulating a Ubisoft server for the game. Later that month, a real crack was released that was able to remove the connection requirement altogether. In March 2010, Uplay servers suffered a period of inaccessibility due to a large-scale , causing around 5% of game owners to become locked out of playing their game. The company later credited owners of the affected games with a free download, and there has been no further downtime. Other developers, such as
Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer A video game developer is a software developer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more infor ...

Blizzard Entertainment
are also shifting to a strategy where most of the game logic is on the "side" or taken care of by the servers of the game maker. Blizzard uses this strategy for its game
Diablo III ''Diablo III'' is a hack-and-slash action role-playing game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment as the third installment in the Diablo (series), ''Diablo'' franchise. It was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in May 2012, Play ...
and Electronic Arts used this same strategy with their reboot of
SimCity ''SimCity'' is an Open-ended (gameplay), open-ended City-building game, city-building video game series originally designed by Will Wright (game designer), Will Wright. The first game in the series, ''SimCity (1989 video game), SimCity'', was ...
, the necessity of which has been questioned.


Encryption

An early example of a DRM system is the
Content Scrambling System The Content Scramble System (CSS) is a digital rights management (DRM) and encryption In cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logy, -logia'', "s ...
(CSS) employed by the
DVD Forum The DVD Forum is an international organization composed of hardware Hardware may refer to: Technology Computing and electronics * Computer hardware, physical parts of a computer * Digital electronics, electronics that operate on digital signals ...
on
DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital elect ...

DVD
movies. CSS uses an
encryption algorithm In cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logy, -logia'', "study", respectively), is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in ...
to encrypt content on the DVD disc. Manufacturers of DVD players must license this technology and implement it in their devices so that they can decrypt the encrypted content to play it. The CSS license agreement includes restrictions on how the DVD content is played, including what outputs are permitted and how such permitted outputs are made available. This keeps the encryption intact as the video material is played out to a TV. In 1999,
Jon Lech Johansen Jon Lech Johansen (born November 18, 1983 in Harstad ( se, Hárstták) is the second-most populated municipality in Troms og Finnmark county, Norway. It is mostly located on the large island of Hinnøya. The municipal center is the Harstad ( ...

Jon Lech Johansen
released an application called
DeCSS DeCSS is one of the first free computer programs capable of decrypting content on a commercially produced DVD video disc. Before the release of DeCSS, open source operating systems (such as Berkeley Software Distribution, BSD and Linux) could n ...

DeCSS
, which allowed a CSS-encrypted DVD to play on a computer running the
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of open-source Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents, or content of the product ...

Linux
operating system, at a time when no licensed DVD player application for Linux had yet been created. The legality of DeCSS is questionable: one of the authors has been the subject of a lawsuit, and reproduction of the keys themselves is subject to restrictions as
illegal number An illegal number is a number that represents information which is illegal to possess, utter, propagate, or otherwise transmit in some legal jurisdiction. Any piece of digital information is representable as a number; consequently, if communicating ...
s. Encryption can ensure that other restriction measures cannot be bypassed by modifying the software, so sophisticated DRM systems rely on encryption to be fully effective. More modern examples include
ADEPT An adept is an individual identified as having attained a specific level of knowledge, skill, or aptitude in doctrines relevant to a particular author or organization. He stands out from others with his great abilities. All human qualities are d ...
,
FairPlay FairPlay is a digital rights management (DRM) technology developed by Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, ...
,
Advanced Access Content System The Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolo ...
.


Copying restriction

Further restrictions can be applied to
electronic books#REDIRECT E-book An electronic book, also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book publication made available in Digital data, digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers or other electronic de ...

electronic books
and documents, in order to prevent copying, printing, forwarding, and saving backups. This is common for both e-publishers and enterprise
Information Rights Management Information rights management (IRM) is a subset of digital rights management Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM) are a set of access control In the fields of physical security and information s ...
. It typically integrates with
content management Content management (CM) is a set of processes and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. When stored and accessed via computers, this information may be more specifically referred t ...
system software but corporations such as
Samsung Electronics Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (; lit. "tristar electronics", sometimes shortened to SEC and stylized as SΛMSUNG) is a South Korean multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in ...
also develop their own custom DRM systems. While some commentators believe DRM makes e-book publishing complex, it has been used by organizations such as the
British Library The British Library is the national library A national library is a library established by a government as a country's preeminent repository of information. Unlike public library, public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow book ...

British Library
in its secure electronic delivery service to permit worldwide access to substantial numbers of rare documents which, for legal reasons, were previously only available to authorized individuals actually visiting the Library's document centre at Boston Spa in England. There are four main e-book DRM schemes in common use today, one each from
Adobe Adobe (; ) is a building material Building material is material used for construction. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from ...
, Amazon,
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
, and the Marlin Trust Management Organization (MTMO). * Adobe's DRM is applied to EPUBs and PDFs, and can be read by several third-party e-book readers, as well as Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software.
Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble, Inc., is an American Bookselling, bookseller. It is a Fortune 1000 company and the bookseller with the largest number of retail outlets in the United States. As of March 7, 2019, the company operates 627 retail stores in a ...
uses a DRM technology provided by Adobe, applied to EPUBs and the older
PDB (Palm OS) PDB is a container format for record databases in Palm OS, Garnet OS and Access Linux Platform. Its structure is similar to PRC (Palm OS), PRC resource databases.N. Rhodes, J. McKeehan. Palm OS Programming, Second Edition, O'Reilly, 2001, The P ...
format e-books. * Amazon's DRM is an adaption of the original
Mobipocket Mobipocket SA was a French company incorporated in March 2000 that created the .mobi e-book file format and produced the Mobipocket Reader software for mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand ...
encryption and is applied to Amazon's .azw4, KF8, and Mobipocket format e-books. Topaz format e-books have their own encryption system. * Apple's
FairPlay FairPlay is a digital rights management (DRM) technology developed by Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, ...
DRM is applied to EPUBs and can currently only be read by Apple's iBooks app on
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples o ...

iOS
devices and
Mac OS The family of Macintosh operating systems developed by Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational ...
computers. * The Marlin DRM was developed and is maintained in an open industry group known as the Marlin Developer Community (MDC) and is licensed by MTMO. (Marlin was founded by five companies, Intertrust, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, and Sony.) The
Kno Kno, Inc. was a software company that worked with publishers to offer digital textbooks and other educational materials. In November 2013, after raising nearly $100 million in venture capital, the company was acquired by Intel. The website was s ...
online textbook publisher uses Marlin to protect e-books it sells in the EPUB format. These books can be read on the Kno App for
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples o ...

iOS
and
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
.


Anti-tampering

The Microsoft operating system,
Windows Vista Windows Vista is a major release of the Windows NT Windows NT is a Proprietary software, proprietary Graphical user interface, graphical operating system produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released on July 27, 1993. It i ...
, contains a DRM system called the Protected Media Path, which contains the Protected Video Path (PVP). PVP tries to stop DRM-restricted content from playing while unsigned software is running, in order to prevent the unsigned software from accessing the content. Additionally, PVP can encrypt information during transmission to the
monitor Monitor or monitor may refer to: Places * Monitor, Alberta * Monitor, Indiana, town in the United States * Monitor, Kentucky * Monitor, Oregon, unincorporated community in the United States * Monitor, Washington * Monitor, Logan County, West Virg ...

monitor
or the
graphics card A graphics card (also called a video card, display card, graphics adapter, video adapter, or display adapter) is an expansion card Modern EEPROM chip suitable for storing expansion card configuration electronically In computing Compu ...
, which makes it more difficult to make unauthorized recordings.
Bohemia Interactive Bohemia Interactive a.s. is a Czech video game developer A video game developer is a software developer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more informal cont ...

Bohemia Interactive
have used a form of technology since '' Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis'', wherein if the game copy is suspected of being unauthorized, annoyances like guns losing their accuracy or the players being turned into a bird are introduced.
Croteam Croteam is a Croatian video game developer based in Zagreb. The company was established by Davor Hunski, Damir Perović, Roman Ribarić and Dean Sekulić, four former classmates, in late August 1992. Croteam is best known for ''Serious Sam'', a ...
, the company that released '' Serious Sam 3: BFE'' in November 2011, implemented a different form of DRM wherein, instead of displaying error messages that stop the illicit version of the game from running, it causes a special invincible foe in the game to appear and constantly attack the player until they are killed.


Regional lockout

Also in 1999, Microsoft released
Windows Media DRMWindows Media DRM or WMDRM, is a Digital Rights Management service for the Windows Media platform. It is designed to provide delivery of audio or video content over an IP network to a PC or other playback device in such a way that the distributor c ...
, which read instructions from media files in a rights management language that stated what the user may do with the media. Later versions of Windows Media DRM implemented music subscription services that make downloaded files unplayable after subscriptions are cancelled, along with the ability for a regional lockout.


Tracking


Watermarks

Digital watermarks are embedded within audio or video data during production or distribution. They can be used for recording the copyright owner, the distribution chain or identifying the purchaser of the music. They are not complete DRM mechanisms in their own right, but are used as part of a system for copyright enforcement, such as helping provide prosecution evidence for legal purposes, rather than direct technological restriction. Some programs used to edit video and/or audio may distort, delete, or otherwise interfere with watermarks. Signal/modulator-carrier chromatography may also separate watermarks from original audio or detect them as glitches. Additionally, comparison of two separately obtained copies of audio using simple, home-grown algorithms can often reveal watermarks.


Metadata

Sometimes,
metadata Metadata is "data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative property, qualitative or quantity, quantitative variable (research), v ...

metadata
is included in purchased media which records information such as the purchaser's name, account information, or email address. Also included may be the file's publisher, author, creation date, download date, and various notes. This information is not embedded in the played content, like a watermark, but is kept separate, but within the file or stream. As an example, metadata is used in media purchased from Apple's iTunes Store for DRM-free as well as DRM-restricted versions of their music or videos. This information is included as MPEG standard metadata.


Television

The
CableCard CableCARD is a special-use PC Card device that allows consumers in the United States to view and record digital cable television channels on digital video recorders, personal computers and television sets on equipment such as a set-top box not pr ...
standard is used by cable television providers in the United States to restrict content to services to which the customer has subscribed. The
broadcast flag A broadcast flag is a set of status bits (or a "flag A flag is a piece of textile, fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signalling device, or for decoration. The te ...
concept was developed by Fox Broadcasting in 2001, and was supported by the
MPAA The Motion Picture Association (MPA) is an American trade association A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by business ...

MPAA
and the U.S.
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in different jurisdictions. I ...
(FCC). A ruling in May 2005, by a
United States courts of appeals The United States courts of appeals or circuit courts are the intermediate appellate court An appellate court, commonly called a court of appeal(s), appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law tha ...
held that the FCC lacked authority to impose it on the TV industry in the US. It required that all HDTVs obey a stream specification determining whether a stream can be recorded. This could block instances of fair use, such as time-shifting. It achieved more success elsewhere when it was adopted by the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB), a consortium of about 250 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, and regulatory bodies from about 35 countries involved in attempting to develop new digital TV standards. An updated variant of the broadcast flag has been developed in the Content Protection and Copy Management group under DVB ( DVB-CPCM). Upon publication by DVB, the technical specification was submitted to European governments in March 2007. As with much DRM, the CPCM system is intended to control use of copyrighted material by the end-user, at the direction of the copyright holder. According to Ren Bucholz of the EFF, which paid to be a member of the consortium, "You won't even know ahead of time whether and how you will be able to record and make use of particular programs or devices". The normative sections have now all been approved for publication by the DVB Steering Board, and will be published by ETSI as a formal European Standard as ETSI TS 102 825-X where X refers to the Part number of specification. Nobody has yet stepped forward to provide a
Compliance and Robustness Compliance and Robustness, sometimes abbreviated as C&R, refers to the legal structure or regime underlying a Digital Rights Management Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM) are a set of access control ...
regime for the standard (though several are rumoured to be in development), so it is not presently possible to fully implement a system, as there is nowhere to obtain the necessary device certificates.


Implementations

*
Analog Protection SystemThe Analog Protection System (APS), also known as Copyguard or Macrovision, is a VHS and DVD copy protection system originally developed by Macrovision. Video tapes copied from DVDs encoded with APS become garbled and unwatchable. The process works ...
(Macrovision) *
DCS Copy Protection DCS Copy Protection Ltd is a UK company that licenses proprietary content protection technology. It is a direct competitor to Rovi TiVo Corporation, formerly known as the Rovi Corporation and Macrovision Solutions Corporation, was an American tec ...
* B-CAS *
CableCARD CableCARD is a special-use PC Card device that allows consumers in the United States to view and record digital cable television channels on digital video recorders, personal computers and television sets on equipment such as a set-top box not pr ...
*
Broadcast flag A broadcast flag is a set of status bits (or a "flag A flag is a piece of textile, fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signalling device, or for decoration. The te ...
* DVB-CPCM * Copy Control Information * ISDB#Copy-protection technology *
FairPlay FairPlay is a digital rights management (DRM) technology developed by Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, ...
* Sony rootkit *
Content Scramble System The Content Scramble System (CSS) is a digital rights management Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM) are a set of access control In the fields of physical security and information security, a ...
(CSS) * ARccOS protection *
Advanced Access Content System The Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolo ...
(AACS) *
Content Protection for Recordable Media Content Protection for Recordable Media and Pre-Recorded Media (CPRM / CPPM) is a mechanism for controlling the copying, moving, and deletion of digital media on a host device, such as a personal computer, or other player. It is a form of digit ...
(CPRM) *
Digital Transmission Content ProtectionDigital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) is a digital rights management (DRM) technology that restricts digital home technologies including DVD players and televisions by encrypting interconnections between devices. This permits the distributio ...
*
High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of digital copy protection Copy protection, also known as content protection, copy prevention and copy restriction, describes measures to enforce copyright by preventing the reproduction ...
(HDCP) * Protected Media Path * Trusted Platform Module#Uses * *
Cinavia Cinavia, originally called Verance Copy Management System for Audiovisual Content (VCMS/AV), is an analog watermarking and steganography system under development by Verance since 1999, and released in 2010. In conjunction with the existing Advan ...
*
HTML5 video The HTML5 HTML5 is a markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable from the text, m ...
Encrypted Media Extensions Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) is a W3C specification for providing a communication channel between web browsers and the Content Decryption Module (CDM) software which implements digital rights management (DRM). This allows the use of HTML5 vide ...
(HTML5 EME, often implemented with
Widevine Widevine is a proprietary digital rights management (DRM) technology from Google Google LLC is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which includ ...
) * Denuvo *
StarForce The Starforce is a fictional supervillain team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Grou ...
*
SafeDisc ''SafeDisc'' is a copy protection Copy protection, also known as content protection, copy prevention and copy restriction, describes measures to enforce copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property ...
*
SecuROM SecuROM was a compact disc, CD/DVD copy protection and digital rights management (DRM) Product (business), product developed by Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation, Sony DADC. It aims to prevent copyright infringement, unauthorised copying and reve ...
In addition, platforms such as
Steam Steam is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fl ...
may include DRM mechanisms. Most of the mechanisms above are not DRM mechanisms per se but are still referred to as DRM mechanisms, rather being copy protection mechanisms.


Laws

The 1996
World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WIPO Copyright Treaty or WCT) is an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1996. It provides addit ...
(WCT) requires nations to enact laws against DRM circumvention, and has been implemented in most member states of the
World Intellectual Property Organization The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; french: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). Pu ...
. The
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
implementation is the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Americ ...
(DMCA), while in Europe the treaty has been implemented by the 2001
Information Society Directive The Information Society Directive (familiarly when first proposed, the Copyright Directive) is a directive of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member s ...
, which requires member states of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
to implement legal protections for technological prevention measures. , the lower house of the French parliament adopted such legislation as part of the controversial
DADVSI DADVSI (generally pronounced as ''dadsi'') is the abbreviation of the French language, French ''Loi sur le Droit d'Auteur et les Droits Voisins dans la Société de l'Information'' (in English: "law on authors' rights and related rights in the info ...
law, but added that protected DRM techniques should be made interoperable, a move which caused widespread controversy in the United States. The Tribunal de grande instance de Paris concluded in 2006, that the complete blocking of any possibilities of making private copies was an impermissible behaviour under French copyright law.


China

In 1998 "Interim Regulations" were founded in China, referring to the DMCA. China also has Intellectual Property Rights, which to the World Trade Organization, was "not in compliance with the Berne Convention". The WTO panel "determined that China's copyright laws do not provide the same efficacy to non- Chinese nationals as they do to Chinese citizens, as required by the Berne Convention". and that "China's copyright laws do not provide enforcement procedures so as to permit effective action against any act of infringement of intellectual property rights".


European Union

On 22 May 2001, the European Union passed the Information Society Directive, an implementation of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty, that addressed many of the same issues as the DMCA. On 25 April 2007, the European Parliament supported the first directive of EU, which aims to harmonize criminal law in the member states. It adopted a first reading report on harmonizing the national measures for fighting copyright abuse. If the European Parliament and the Council approve the legislation, the submitted directive will oblige the member states to consider a crime a violation of international copyright committed with commercial purposes. The text suggests numerous measures: from fines to imprisonment, depending on the gravity of the offense. The EP members supported the Commission motion, changing some of the texts. They excluded patent rights from the range of the directive and decided that the sanctions should apply only to offenses with commercial purposes. Copying for personal, non-commercial purposes was also excluded from the range of the directive. In 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in favor of reselling copyrighted games, prohibiting any preventative action that would prevent such transaction. The court said that "The
first sale The first-sale doctrine is a legal concept that plays an important role in United States copyright law by limiting the rights of an intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations ...
in the EU of a copy of a computer program by the copyright holder or with his consent exhausts the right of distribution of that copy in the EU. A rightholder who has marketed a copy in the territory of a Member State of the EU thus loses the right to rely on his monopoly of exploitation in order to oppose the resale of that copy." In 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that circumventing DRM on game devices may be legal under some circumstances, limiting the legal protection to only cover technological measures intended to prevent or eliminate unauthorised acts of reproduction, communication, public offer or distribution.


India

India is not a signatory to
WIPO Copyright Treaty The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WIPO Copyright Treaty or WCT) is an international treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by ...
nor the
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; french: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental o ...
. However, as a part of its 2012 amendment of copyright laws, it implemented digital rights management protection. Section 65A of imposed criminal sanctions on circumvention of "effective technological protection measures".Zakir Thomas, 'Overview of Changes to Indian Copyright Law'
012 012 may refer to: * Tyrrell 012 The Tyrrell 012 is a Formula One Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for Open wheel car, single-seater Formula racing, formula racing cars sanctioned by ...

012
17 Journal of Intellectual Property Rights pp 324–334, 332
Section 65B criminalized interference with digital rights management information. Any distribution of copies whose rights management information was modified was also criminalized by Section 65B. The terms used in the provisions were not specifically defined, with the concerned Parliamentary Standing Committee indicating the same to have been deliberate. The Standing Committee noted that similar terms in developed terms were used to considerable complexity and therefore in light of the same, it was preferable to keep it open-ended. A prison sentence is mandatory under both provisions, with a maximum term of 2 years in addition to fine, which is discretionary. While the statute doesn't include exceptions to copyright infringement, including fair use directly, Section 65A allows measures "unless they are expressly prohibited", which may implicitly include such exceptions. Section 65B however, lacks any exceptions.Arul George Scaria, 'Does India Need Digital Rights Management Provisions or Better Digital Business Management Strategies?'
012 012 may refer to: * Tyrrell 012 The Tyrrell 012 is a Formula One Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for Open wheel car, single-seater Formula racing, formula racing cars sanctioned by ...

012
17 Journal of Intellectual Property Rights pp. 463–477, 465
Further. Section 65B (digital rights management information) allows resort to other civil provisions, unlike Section 65A. It is important to note that the WIPO Internet Treaties themselves do not mandate criminal sanctions, merely requiring "effective legal remedies." Thus, India's adoption of criminal sanctions ensures compliance with the highest standards of the WIPO internet treaties. Given the 2012 amendment, India's entry to the WIPO Internet Treaties appears facilitated, especially since ratification of the WIPO Internet Treaties is mandatory under agreements like the RCEP.


Israel

Israel had not ratified the WIPO Copyright Treaty. Israeli law does not currently expressly prohibit the circumvention of technological measures used to implement digital rights management. In June 2012 The Israeli Ministry of Justice proposed a bill to prohibit such activities, but the
Knesset The Knesset ( he, הַכְּנֶסֶת ; "gathering" or "assembly") is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber ...

Knesset
did not pass it. In September 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the current copyright law could not be interpreted to prohibit the circumvention of digital rights management, though the Court left open the possibility that such activities could result in liability under the law of unjust enrichment.


United States

In May 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed as an amendment to US
copyright law Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy and distribute a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyrig ...
, which criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology that lets users circumvent technical copy-restriction methods. (For a more detailed analysis of the statute, see
WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act The WIPO Copyright and Performances and Sound recording and reproduction, Phonograms Treaty, Treaties Implementation Act, is a part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a 1998 United States, U.S. law. It has two major portions, Section 1 ...
.) Reverse engineering of existing systems is expressly permitted under the Act under the specific condition of a safe harbor, where circumvention is necessary to achieve interoperability with other software . See 17 U.S.C. Sec. 1201(f). Open-source software to decrypt content scrambled with the
Content Scrambling System The Content Scramble System (CSS) is a digital rights management (DRM) and encryption In cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logy, -logia'', "s ...
and other encryption techniques presents an intractable problem with the application of the Act. Much depends on the intent of the actor. If the decryption is done for the purpose of achieving interoperability of open source operating systems with proprietary operating systems, it would be protected by Section 1201(f) the Act. Cf., Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Corley, 273 F.3d 429 (2d Cir. 2001) at notes 5 and 16. However, dissemination of such software for the purpose of violating or encouraging others to violate copyrights has been held illegal. See Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes, 111 F. Supp. 2d 346 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). The DMCA has been largely ineffective in protecting DRM systems, as software allowing users to circumvent DRM remains widely available. However, those who wish to preserve the DRM systems have attempted to use the Act to restrict the distribution and development of such software, as in the case of DeCSS. Although the Act contains an exception for research, the exception is subject to vague qualifiers that do little to reassure researchers. Cf., 17 U.S.C. Sec. 1201(g). The DMCA has affected
cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in (''- ...

cryptography
, because many fear that cryptanalytic research may violate the DMCA. In 2001, the arrest of Russian programmer
Dmitry Sklyarov ''United States v. ElcomSoft and Dmitry Sklyarov'' was a 2001–2002 criminal case in which Dmitry Sklyarov and his employer ElcomSoft were charged with alleged violation of the DMCA. The case raised some concerns of civil rights and legal proces ...
for alleged infringement of the DMCA was a highly publicized example of the law's use to prevent or penalize development of anti-DRM measures. He was arrested in the US after a presentation at
DEF CON DEF CON (also written as DEFCON, Defcon or DC) is one of the world's largest and most notable hacker conventions, held annually in Las Vegas Las Vegas (; Spanish language, Spanish for "The Meadows"), officially the City of Las Vegas and ...
, and spent several months in jail. The DMCA has also been cited as chilling to non-criminal inclined users, such as students of
cryptanalysis Cryptanalysis (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...
including, Professor
Edward Felten Edward William Felten (born March 25, 1963) is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Privat ...
and students at
Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly tw ...

Princeton University
; security consultants, such as Netherlands based
Niels Ferguson Niels T. Ferguson (born 10 December 1965, Eindhoven) is a Netherlands, Dutch cryptographer and consultant who currently works for Microsoft. He has worked with others, including Bruce Schneier, designing cryptographic algorithms, testing algorithms ...
, who declined to publish vulnerabilities he discovered in
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
's secure-computing scheme due to fear of being arrested under the DMCA when he travels to the US; and blind or visually impaired users of
screen reader A screen reader is a form of assistive technology (AT) that renders text and image content as speech or braille output. Screen readers are essential to people who are blindness, blind, and are useful to people who are visual impairment, visually ...
s or other
assistive technologies Image:Hoergeraet analog 050609.jpg, Hearing aid Assistive technology (AT) is assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for Disability, People with disability or the elderly population. People with disability often have difficulty performing ...
.


International issues

In Europe, there have been several ongoing dialog activities that are characterized by their consensus-building intention: * January 2001 Workshop on Digital Rights Management of the
World Wide Web Consortium The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary ...
. * 2003 Participative preparation of the
European Committee for Standardization The European Committee for Standardization (CEN, french: Comité Européen de Normalisation) is a public standards organization whose mission is to foster the economy of the European Single Market and the wider European continent in global trad ...
/Information Society Standardization System (CEN/ISSS) DRM Report. * 2005 DRM Workshops of
Directorate-General for Information Society and Media (European Commission) Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. DG Connect is responsible for managing the Europe 2020, Digital Agenda. The Director-General is Roberto Viol ...
, and the work of the High Level Group on DRM. * 2005 Gowers Review of Intellectual Property by the British Government from
Andrew Gowers Andrew Gowers (born 1957) was appointed editing, editor of the ''Financial Times'' in October 2001. He resigned from this post in November 2005 citing "strategic differences". In March 2012 he was appointed Director of External Relations at the Ass ...
published in 2006 with recommendations regarding copyright terms, exceptions, orphaned works, and copyright enforcement. * 2004 Consultation process of the European Commission, DG Internal Market, on the Communication COM(2004)261 by the European Commission on "Management of Copyright and Related Rights" (closed). * The
AXMEDIS AXMEDIS is a set of European Union digital content standards, initially created as a research project running from 2004 to 2008 partially supported by the European Commission under the Information Society Technologies (IST DG-INFSO) programme of ...
project, a European Commission Integrated Project of the FP6, has as its main goal automating content production, copy protection, and distribution, to reduce the related costs, and to support DRM at both B2B and B2C areas, harmonizing them. * The INDICARE project is an ongoing dialogue on consumer acceptability of DRM solutions in Europe. It is an open and neutral platform for exchange of facts and opinions, mainly based on articles by authors from science and practice.


Notable lawsuits

* ''
DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. v. Bunner ''DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. v. Bunner'' was a lawsuit that was filed by the DVD Copy Control Association ("DVD CCA") in California, accusing Andrew Bunner and several others of misappropriation of trade secrets under California's implement ...
'' * '' DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. v. Kaleidescape, Inc.'' * '' RealNetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Association, Inc.'' * '' Universal v. Reimerdes''


Opposition

Many organizations, prominent individuals, and computer scientists are opposed to DRM. Two notable DRM critics are John Walker, as expressed for instance, in his article " The Digital Imprimatur: How Big brother and big media can put the Internet genie back in the bottle", and
Richard Stallman Richard Matthew Stallman (; born March 16, 1953), also known by his initials, rms, is an American free software movement The free software movement is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of peo ...

Richard Stallman
in his article ''The Right to Read'' and in other public statements: "DRM is an example of a malicious feature – a feature designed to hurt the user of the software, and therefore, it's something for which there can never be toleration". Stallman also believes that using the word "rights" is misleading and suggests that the word "restrictions", as in "Digital Restrictions Management", be used instead. This terminology has since been adopted by many other writers and critics unconnected with Stallman. Other prominent critics of DRM include Professor Ross Anderson of Cambridge University, who heads a British organization which opposes DRM and similar efforts in the UK and elsewhere, and
Cory Doctorow Cory Efram Doctorow (; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who served as co-editor of the blog ''Boing Boing''. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the ...

Cory Doctorow
, a writer and technology blogger. The EFF and similar organizations such as FreeCulture.org also hold positions which are characterized as opposed to DRM. The
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit organisation A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and ...
has criticized DRM's effect as a
trade barrier Trade barriers are government-induced restrictions on international trade International trade is the exchange of capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...
from a
free market In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of pl ...
perspective. Bill Gates spoke about DRM at CES in 2006. According to him, DRM is not where it should be, and causes problems for legitimate consumers while trying to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate users. There have been numerous others who see DRM at a more fundamental level. This is similar to some of the ideas in Michael H. Goldhaber's presentation about "The Attention Economy and the Net" at a 1997 conference on the "Economics of Digital Information". (sample quote from the "Advice for the Transition" section of that presentation: "If you can't figure out how to afford it without charging, you may be doing something wrong.") The Norwegian consumer rights organization "Forbrukerrådet" complained to Apple Inc. in 2007, about the company's use of DRM in, and in conjunction with, its iPod and iTunes products. Apple was accused of restricting users' access to their music and videos in an unlawful way, and of using
EULA An end-user license agreement is a legal contract entered into between a software developer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more informal contexts), is a pers ...
s which conflict with Norwegian consumer legislation. The complaint was supported by consumers'
ombudsmen An ombudsman (, also , ), ombudsperson, ombud, ombuds, or public advocate is an official who is charged with representing the interests of the public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, ...
in Sweden and Denmark, and is currently being reviewed in the EU. Similarly, the United States
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government Independent agencies of the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. gover ...

Federal Trade Commission
held hearings in March 2009, to review disclosure of DRM limitations to customers' use of media products.
Valve A valve is a device or natural object that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid (gases, liquids, fluidized solids, or slurries A slurry composed of glass beads in silicone oil flowing down an inclined plane A slurry is a mix ...
president
Gabe Newell Gabe Logan Newell (nicknamed Gaben, born November 3, 1962) is an American businessman and the co-founder and president of the video game developer and digital distribution company Valve Corporation, Valve. Newell was educated at Davis Senior Hig ...
also stated "most DRM strategies are just dumb" because they only decrease the value of a game in the consumer's eyes. Newell suggests that the goal should instead be " reatinggreater value for customers through service value". Valve operates
Steam Steam is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fl ...
, a service which serves as an online store for
PC game A personal computer game, also known as a PC game or computer game, is a type of video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game con ...
s, as well as a
social networking service A social networking service or SNS (sometimes called a social networking site) is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relation In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship ...
and a DRM platform. At the 2012
Game Developers Conference The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is an annual conference for video game developers. The event includes an expo, networking events, and awards shows like the Game Developers Choice Awards and Independent Games Festival, and a variety of tutori ...
, the CEO of
CD Projekt Red CD Projekt S.A. () is a Polish video game developer, video game publisher, publisher and distributor based in Warsaw, founded in May 1994 by Marcin Iwiński and Michał Kiciński. Iwiński and Kiciński were video game retailers before they fou ...
, Marcin Iwinski, announced that the company will not use DRM in any of its future releases. Iwinski stated of DRM, "it's just over-complicating things. We release the game. It's cracked in two hours, it was no time for ''
Witcher 2 ''The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings'' ( pl, Wiedźmin 2: Zabójcy królów) is a 2011 Action role-playing game, action role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt Red, based on ''The Witcher'' series of fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. ...
''. What really surprised me is that the pirates didn't use the GOG version, which was not protected. They took the
SecuROM SecuROM was a compact disc, CD/DVD copy protection and digital rights management (DRM) Product (business), product developed by Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation, Sony DADC. It aims to prevent copyright infringement, unauthorised copying and reve ...
retail version, cracked it and said 'we cracked it' – meanwhile there's a non-secure version with a simultaneous release. You'd think the GOG version would be the one floating around." Iwinski added after the presentation, "DRM does not protect your game. If there are examples that it does, then people maybe should consider it, but then there are complications with legit users." The
Association for Computing Machinery The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is a US-based international learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipl ...
and the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to further Further or F ...
have historically opposed DRM, even going so far as to name AACS as a technology "most likely to fail" in an issue of
IEEE Spectrum ''IEEE Spectrum'' is a magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The ...
. Tools like FairUse4WM have been created to strip Windows Media of DRM restrictions. Websitessuch as library.nu (shut down by court order on 15 February 2012), BookFi,
BookFinder BookFinder.com is a vertical search website that helps readers buy books online. The site's meta-search engine scans the inventory, inventories of over 100,000 booksellers located around the world. Among the books from sellers whose inventories are ...
,
Library Genesis Library Genesis (Libgen) is a file-sharing based shadow library website for scholarly journal articles, academic and general-interest books, images, comics, and magazines. The site enables free access to content that is otherwise paywall A p ...
, and
Sci-Hub #REDIRECT Sci-Hub #REDIRECT Sci-Hub#REDIRECT Sci-Hub Sci-Hub is a shadow library website that provides free access to millions of research papers and books, without regard to copyright, by bypassing publishers' paywall A paywall is a metho ...
have gone further to allow downloading e-books by violating copyright.


Public licenses

The latest version of the
GNU General Public License The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely used free software license A free-software license is a notice that grants the recipient of a piece of software extensive rights to modify and software distribu ...
version 3, as released by the Free Software Foundation, has a provision that "strips" DRM of its legal value, so people can break the DRM on GPL software without breaking laws like the
DMCA The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Americ ...

DMCA
. Also, in May 2006, the FSF launched a "
Defective by Design Defective by Design (DBD) is an anti-Digital rights management, DRM initiative by the Free Software Foundation. Digital rights management (DRM) technology restricts users' ability to freely use their purchased movies, music, literature, software, ...
" campaign against DRM.
Creative Commons Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a colle ...

Creative Commons
provides licensing options encouraging the expansion of and building upon creative work without the use of DRM. In addition, Creative Commons licenses have anti-DRM clauses, therefore the use of DRM by a licensee to restrict the freedoms granted by a Creative Commons license is a breach of the Baseline Rights asserted by the licenses.


DRM-free works

In reaction to opposition to DRM, many publishers and artists label their works as "DRM-free". Major companies that have done so include the following: *
Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, ...
sold DRM content on their
iTunes Store The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media Digital media means any media (communication), communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data formats. Digital media can be created, v ...

iTunes Store
when it launched in 2003, but made music DRM-free after April 2007 and has been labeling all music as "DRM-Free" since January 2009. The files still carry tags to identify the purchaser. Other works sold on iTunes such as apps, audiobooks, movies, and TV shows continue to be protected by DRM. * Since 2014,
Comixology Iconology Inc., d/b/a A trade name, trading name, or business name is a pseudonym used by companies that do not operate under their registered company name. The term for this type of alternative name is a "fictitious" business name. Registering ...
, which distributes digital comics, has allowed rights holders to provide the option of a DRM-free download of purchased comics. Publishers which allow this include
Dynamite Entertainment Dynamite Entertainment is an American comic book publishing imprint of Dynamic Forces that primarily publishes adaptations of franchises from other media. These include licensed adaptations of film properties such as ''Army of Darkness ''Army o ...
,
Image Comics Image Comics is an American comic book publisher and is the third largest comic book and graphic novel publisher in the industry in both unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a ...
, Thrillbent,
Top Shelf Productions Top Shelf Productions is an American publishing company founded in 1997, originally owned and operated by Chris Staros Chris Staros (born 1962) is the publisher of the graphic novel publishing company Top Shelf Productions Top Shelf Productions ...
, and
Zenescope Entertainment Zenescope Entertainment is a comic book A comic book, also called comic magazine or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) simply comic, is a publication that consists of comics art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panel (comics), panels that ...
. *
GOG.com GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) is a digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of digital ...
(formerly Good Old Games), a digital distributor since 2008, specializes in the distribution of PC
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
s. While most other digital distribution services allow various forms of DRM (or have them embedded), gog.com has a strict non-DRM policy. *
Tor Books Tor Books is the primary imprint Imprint or imprinting may refer to: Entertainment * Imprint (TV series), ''Imprint'' (TV series), Canadian television series * Imprint (Masters of Horror), "Imprint" (''Masters of Horror''), episode of TV show ...
, a major publisher of science fiction and fantasy books, first sold DRM-free
e-book An ebook (short for electronic book), also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, ...

e-book
s in July 2012. Smaller e-book publishers, such as
Baen Books Baen Books is an American publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution ...
and
O'Reilly Media O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates) is an American learning company established by Tim O'Reilly Tim O'Reilly (born 6 June 1954) is the founder of O'Reilly Media O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates) is an American l ...
, had already forgone DRM previously. * is one of the publishers included in the
Free Software Foundation The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States ...
's DRM-free guide.


Shortcomings


Reliability

Many DRM systems require authentication with an online server. Whenever the server goes down, or a region or country experiences an Internet outage, it effectively locks out people from registering or using the material. This is especially true for a product that requires a persistent online authentication, where, for example, a successful on the server would essentially make all copies of the material unusable. Additionally, any system that requires contact with an authentication server is vulnerable to that server's becoming unavailable, as happened in 2007, when videos purchased from
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leag ...
(mlb.com) prior to 2006, became unplayable due to a change to the servers that validate the licenses.


Usability

Discs with DRM schemes are not standards-compliant
compact disc The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics compri ...

compact disc
s (CDs) but are rather
CD-ROM A CD-ROM (, compact disc read-only memory) is a pre-pressed optical compact disc The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital ...

CD-ROM
media. Therefore, they all lack the CD logotype found on discs which follow the standard (known as Red Book). These CDs cannot be played on all
CD player A CD player is an electronic device that plays audio compact discs, which are a digital audio, digital optical disc data storage device, data storage format. CD players were first sold to consumers in 1982. CDs typically contain recordings of au ...

CD player
s or personal computers. Personal computers running
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor