Monday, November 29, 2010

Digital rights management

Digital rights management (DRM) is a term for access control technologies that can be used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals to limit the usage of digital content and devices. The term is used to describe any technology that inhibits uses of digital content not desired or intended by the content provider (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) .

The term does not generally refer to other forms ofcopy protection which can be circumvented without modifying the file or device, such as serial numbers or keyfiles. It can also refer to restrictions associated with specific instances of digital works or devices (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .

Digital rights management is used by companies such as Sony, Amazon, Apple Inc., Microsoft, AOL and the BBC .

The use of digital rights management is controversial. Proponents argue it is needed by copyright holders to prevent unauthorized duplication of their work, either to maintain artistic integrity or to ensure continued revenue streams (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .

Some opponents, such as the Free Software Foundation (through its Defective By Design campaign), maintain that the use of the word "rights" is misleading and suggest that people instead use the term digital restrictions management. Their position is essentially that copyright holders are restricting the use of material in ways that are beyond the scope of existing copyright laws (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) ,

and should not be covered by future laws. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other opponents, also consider DRM systems to be anti-competitive practices. This position holds that the rights of the user need legal protection (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery) .


DRM technologies attempt to control use of digital media by preventing access, copying or conversion to other formats by end users. Long before the arrival of digital or even electronic media, copyright holders, content producers, or other financially or artistically interested parties had business and legal objections to copying technologies (Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery) .

Examples include: player piano rolls early in the 20th century, audio tape recording, and video tape recording(e.g., the "Betamax case" in the U.S.). Copying technology thus exemplifies a disruptive technology (Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery) .

The advent of digital media and analog/digital conversion technologies, especially those that are usable on mass-market general-purpose personal computers, has vastly increased the concerns of copyright-dependent individuals and organizations, especially within the music and movie industries (Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery) ,

because these individuals and organizations are partly or wholly dependent on the revenue generated from such works. While analog media inevitably loses 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 of subsequent copies (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery) .

The advent of personal computers as household appliances has made it convenient for consumers to convert media (which may or may not be copyrighted) originally in a physical/analog form or a broadcast form into a universal, digital form (this process is called ripping) for location- or timeshifting (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery) .

This, combined with the Internet and popular file sharing tools, has made unauthorized distribution of copies of copyrighted digital media (digital piracy) much easier.

DRM technologies have enabled publishers to enforce access policies that not only disallow copyright infringements (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery) ,

but also prevent lawful fair use of copyrighted works, or even implement use constraints on non-copyrighted works that they distribute; examples include the placement of DRM on certain public-domain or open-licensed e-books, or DRM included in consumer electronic devices that time-shift (and apply DRM to) both copyrighted and non-copyrighted works (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery) .

DRM is most commonly used by the entertainment industry (e.g., film and recording). Many online music stores, such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store, as well as many e-book publishers have implemented DRM (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery) .

In recent years, a number of television producers have implemented DRM on consumer electronic devices to control access to the freely-broadcast content of their shows, in response to the rising popularity of time-shifting digital video recorder systems such as TiVo (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery) .


DRM and film

An early example of a DRM system was the Content Scrambling System (CSS) employed by the DVD Forum on film DVDs since ca. 1996 (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) .

CSS used a simple encryption algorithm, and required device manufacturers to sign license agreements that restricted the inclusion of features, such as digital outputs that could be used to extract high-quality digital copies of the film, in their players. Thus, the only consumer hardware capable of decoding DVD films was controlled (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery) ,

albeit indirectly, by the DVD Forum, restricting the use of DVD media on other systems until the release of DeCSS by Jon Lech Johansen in 1999, which allowed a CSS-encrypted DVD to play properly on a computer using Linux, for which the Alliance had not arranged a licensed version of the CSS playing software (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) .

Microsoft's Windows Vista 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 (Sony VGN-FZ31S battery) .

Additionally, PVP can encrypt information during transmission to the monitor or the graphics card, which makes it more difficult to make unauthorized recordings.

Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is a DRM system for HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs developed by the AACS Licensing Administrator (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery) ,

LLC (AACS LA), a consortium that includes Disney, Intel, Microsoft, Matsushita (Panasonic), Warner Brothers, IBM, Toshiba and Sony. In December 2006 a process key was published on the internet byhackers, enabling unrestricted access to AACS-restricted HD DVD content. After the cracked keys were revoked, further cracked keys were released (SONY VGN-FZ38M Battery) .

DRM and television

The CableCard standard is used by cable television providers in the United States to restrict content to services to which the customer has subscribed (SONY VGN-FZ31z Battery) .

The broadcast flag concept was developed by Fox Broadcasting in 2001 and was supported by the MPAA and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). A ruling in May 2005 by a US Court of Appeals held that the FCC lacked authority to impose it on the TV industry in the US (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery) .

It required that all HDTVs obey a stream specification determining whether or not 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, manufactures, network operators, software developers, and regulatory bodies from about 35 countries involved in attempting to develop new digital TV standards (SONY VGN-FZ31E Battery) .

An updated variant of the broadcast flag has been developed in the Content Protection and Copy Management (DVB-CPCM). It was developed in private, and 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 (SONY VGN-FZ31J Battery) .

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 DVB supports the system as it will harmonize copyright holders' control across different technologies and so make things easier for end users (SONY VGN-FZ31M Battery) .

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 (SONY VGN-FZ31B Battery) .

Nobody has yet stepped forward to provide a Compliance and Robustness 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 (SONY VGP-BPS13 Battery) .

DRM and music

Audio CDs

Discs with digital rights management schemes are not legitimately standards-compliant Compact Discs (CDs) but are rather CD-ROM media. Therefore they all lack the CD logotype found on discs which follow the standard (known as Red Book) (Dell Inspiron 1320 Battery) .

Therefore these CDs could not be played on all CD players. Many consumers could also no longer play purchased CDs on their computers. Personal computers running Microsoft Windows would sometimes even crash when attempting to play the CDs.

In 2005, Sony BMG introduced new DRM technology which installed DRM software on users' computers without clearly notifying the user or requiring confirmation (Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery) .

Among other things, the installed software included a rootkit, which created a severe security vulnerability others could exploit. When the nature of the DRM involved was made public much later, Sony initially minimized the significance of the vulnerabilities its software had created, but was eventually compelled to recall millions of CDs, and released several attempts to patch the surreptitiously included software to at least remove the rootkit (Dell Inspiron 1464 Battery) .

Several class action lawsuits were filed, which were ultimately settled by agreements to provide affected consumers with a cash payout or album downloads free of DRM.

Sony's DRM software actually had only a limited ability to prevent copying, as it affected only playback on Windows computers, not on other equipment (Dell Inspiron 1564 Battery) .

Even on the Windows platform, users regularly bypassed the restrictions. And, while the Sony DRM technology created fundamental vulnerabilities in customers' computers, parts of it could be trivially bypassed by holding down the "shift" key while inserting the CD, or by disabling the autorun feature (Dell Inspiron 1764 Battery) .

In addition, audio tracks could simply be played and re-recorded, thus completely bypassing all of the DRM (this is known as the analog hole). Sony's first two attempts at releasing a patch which would remove the DRM software from users' computers failed.

In January 2007, EMI stopped publishing audio CDs with DRM, stating that "the costs of DRM do not measure up to the results (Dell Studio 1450 Battery) .

"Following EMI, Sony BMG was the last publisher to abolish DRM completely, and audio CDs containing DRM are no longer released by the four record labels.

Internet music

Many online music stores employ DRM to restrict usage of music purchased and downloaded online (Dell Studio 1457 Battery) .

There are many options for consumers wishing to purchase digital music over the internet:

  • The iTunes Store (run by Apple), allows users to purchase a track online. The tracks purchased use Apple's FairPlay DRM system. Apple later launched iTunes Plus, which offered higher quality DRM-free tracks for a higher price. On October 17, 2007, iTunes Plus became available at the usual US$0.99 price, replacing the non-Plus tracks (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
  • On January 6, 2009 Apple announced at its Macworld Expo keynote that iTunes music would be available completely DRM free by the end of the month. Videos sold and rented through iTunes, as well as mobile software sold through the iTunes App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch, continue to use Apple's FairPlay DRM to inhibit casual copying (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
  • Apple increased the price of many hit singles and selected classic tracks to $1.29 on April 7, 2009.
  • Napster music store offers a subscription-based approach to DRM alongside permanent purchases (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery) .
  • Users of the subscription service can download and stream an unlimited amount of music transcoded to Windows Media Audio (WMA) while subscribed to the service. But when the subscription period lapses, all of the downloaded music is unplayable until the user renews his or her subscription (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery) .
  • Napster also charges users who wish to use the music on their portable device an additional $5 per month. In addition, Napster gives users the option of paying an additional $0.99 per track to burn it to CD or for the song to never expire. Music bought through Napster can be played on players carrying the Microsoft PlaysForSure logo (which, notably, do not include iPods or even Microsoft's own Zune) (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
  • As of June 2009 Napster is giving DRM free MP3 music, which can be played on iPhones and iPods.
  • Wal-Mart Music Downloads, another online music download store, charges $0.94 per track for all non-sale downloads. All Wal-Mart, Music Downloads are able to be played on any Windows PlaysForSure marked product (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) .
  • The music does play on the SanDisk's Sansa mp3 player, for example, but must be copied to the player's internal memory. It cannot be played through the player'smicroSD card slot, which is a problem that many users of the mp3 player experience (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
  • Sony operated an online music download service called "Connect" which used Sony's proprietary OpenMG DRM technology. Music downloaded from this store (usually via Sony's SonicStagesoftware) was only playable on computers running Microsoft Windows and Sony hardware (including the PSP and some Sony Ericsson phones) (Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery) .
  • Kazaa is one of a few services offering a subscription-based pricing model. However, music downloads from the Kazaa website are DRM-protected, and can only be played on computers or portable devices running Windows Media Player, and only as long as the customer remains subscribed to Kazaa (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery) .

The various services are currently not interoperable, though those that use the same DRM system (for instance the several Windows Media DRM format stores, including Napster, Kazaa and Yahoo Music) all provide songs that can be played side-by-side through the same player program (Sony VGN-FW11M Battery) .

Almost all stores require client software of some sort to be downloaded, and some also need plug-ins. Several colleges and universities, such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, have made arrangements with assorted Internet music suppliers to provide access (typically DRM-restricted) to music files for their students (Dell Studio 1555 battery) ,

to less than universal popularity, sometimes making payments from student activity fee funds. One of the problems is that the music becomes unplayable after leaving school unless the student continues to pay individually. Another is that few of these vendors are compatible with the most common portable music player, the Apple iPod (Dell Latitude E5400 Battery) .

The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property (to HMG in the UK; 141 pages, 40+ specific recommendations) has taken note of the incompatibilities, and suggests (Recommendations 8—12) that there be explicit fair dealing exceptions to copyright allowing libraries to copy and format-shift between DRM schemes, and further allowing end users to do the same privately (Dell Latitude E4200 Battery) .

If adopted, some of the acrimony may decrease.

Although DRM is prevalent for Internet music, some online music stores such as eMusic, Dogmazic, Amazon, and Beatport, do not use DRM despite encouraging users to avoid sharing music (Dell Vostro A840 Battery) .

Another online retailer,, which sells only unsigned artists, encourages people to share the music they buy from the site, to increase exposure for the artists themselves. Major labels have begun releasing more online music without DRM (Dell Inspiron 300M Battery) .

Eric Bangeman suggests in Ars Technica that this is because the record labels are "slowly beginning to realize that they can't have DRMed music and complete control over the online music market at the same time... One way to break the cycle is to sell music that is playable on any digital audio player (Dell Studio 1737 battery) .

eMusic does exactly that, and their surprisingly extensive catalog of non-DRMed music has vaulted it into the number two online music store position behind the iTunes Store." Apple's Steve Jobs has called on the music industry to eliminate DRM in an open letter titled Thoughts on Music (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery) .

Apple's iTunes store will start to sell DRM-free 256 kbit/s (up from 128 kbit/s) AAC encoded music from EMI for a premium price (this has since reverted to the standard price). In March 2007,, one of Europe's largest online music retailers, announced their position strongly against DRM (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) .

In an open letter, Musicload stated that three out of every four calls to their customer support phone service are as a result of consumer frustration with DRM.

Computer games

Computer games sometimes use DRM technologies to limit the number of systems the game can be installed on by requiring authentication with an online server (Dell RM791 battery) .

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 (seeing as the rights of the software developers allow them to limit the number of installations) (Dell XPS M1530 battery) ,

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 hard drive, tasks which, depending on how the DRM is implemented, count a game's subsequent reinstall as a new installation, making the game potentially unusable after a certain period even if it is only used on a single computer (Dell XPS M2010 battery) .

In mid-2008, the publication of Mass Effect marked the start of a wave of titles primarily making use of SecuROM and Steam for DRM and requiring authentication via an online server. The use of DRM scheme in 2008's Spore backfired and there were protests, resulting in a considerable number of users seeking a pirated version instead (Dell Vostro 1000 battery) .

This backlash against 3 activation limit was a significant factor in Spore becoming the most pirated game in 2008.

Many mainstream publishers continued to rely on online-based DRM throughout the later half of 2008 and early 2009, including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Atari (Acer Aspire One battery) .

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 pirated copies (Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery) .

Although Ubisoft has not commented on the results of the 'experiment', the majority of their subsequent titles in 2009 contained no online-based DRM since the release of Prince of Persia - notable examples being Anno 1404 and James Cameron's Avatar: The Gamemaking use of the online version of the TAGES copy protection system (SONY VGN-FZ210CE Battery) .

An official patch has since been released stripping Anno 1404 of the DRM. Electronic Arts followed suit in June 2009 with The Sims 3, with subsequent EA and EA Sports titles also being devoid of online DRM.

Ubisoft formally announced a return to on-line authentication on 9 February 2010 through its Uplay on-line gaming platform, starting with Silent Hunter 5, The Settlers 7 and Assassin's Creed 2 (Dell Precision M70 Battery) .

Silent Hunter V 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 (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery) ,

making cracking games using the system a daunting task. It was only 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 2, demonstrating its strength. The software did this by emulating a Ubisoft server for the game (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery) .

Later that month, a real crack was released that was able to remove the connection requirement altogether. No fully working crack for Silent Hunter V has been confirmed.

In early March, 2010, Uplay servers suffered a period of inaccessibility due to a large scale DDoS attack, causing around 5% of game owners to become locked out of playing their game (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery) .

The company later credited owners of the affected games with a free download, and there has been no further downtime.

Some most prominent cases making use of online DRM technology SecuROM include Spore, BioShock, Mass Effect and Gears Of War (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery) .


Electronic books read on a personal computer or an e-book reader typically use DRM restrictions to limit copying, printing, and sharing of e-books. E-books are usually limited to a certain number of reading devices and some e-publishers prevent any copying or printing (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery) .

Some commentators believe that DRM is something that makes E-book publishing complex .

There are four main ebook formats at present. Mobipocket, Topaz, ePub and PDF. The Amazon Kindle uses both Mobipocket and Topaz format ebooks. Other ebook readers mostly use ePub format ebooks, but with differing DRM schemes (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery) .

There are four main ebook DRM schemes at present, one each from Adobe, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Adobe's Adept DRM is applied to ePubs and PDFs, and can be read by several third-party ebook readers, as well as Adobe's Adobe Digital Editions software (WD passport essential (500GB/640GB) .

Apple's Fairplay DRM is applied to ePubs,and can currently only be read by Apple's iBooks app on iOS devices. Barnes & Noble's DRM scheme is implemented by Adobe, and is applied to ePubs and the older Palm format ebooks. Amazon's DRM is an adaption of the original Mobipocket encryption, and is applied to Amazon's Mobipocket and Topaz format ebooks (WD passport essential (250GB/320GB) .

Two software programs to view e-books are Adobe Reader and Microsoft Reader.Each program uses a slightly different approach to DRM. The first version of Adobe Acrobat e-book Reader to have encryption technologies was version 5.05. In the later version 6.0, the technologies of the PDF reader and the e-book reader were combined (WD passport essential SE (750GB/1TB) ,

allowing it to read both DRM-restricted and unrestricted files.After opening the file, the user is able to view the rights statement, which outlines actions available for the specific document. For example, for a freely transferred PDF, printing, copying to the clipboard, and other basic functions are available to the user (WD passport elite(250GB/320GB) .

However, when viewing a more highly restricted e-book, the user is unable to print the book, copy or paste selections. The level of restriction is specified by the publisher or distribution agency.

Microsoft Reader, which exclusively reads e-books in a .lit format, contains its own DRM software (WD passport elite(500GB/640GB) .

In Microsoft Reader there are three different levels of access control depending on the e-book: sealed e-books, inscribed e-books and owner exclusive e-books. Sealed e-books have the least amount of restriction and only prevents the document from being modified (WD passport studio for Mac(320GB/500GB) .

Therefore, the reader cannot alter the content of the book to change the ending, for instance. Inscribed e-books are the next level of restriction. After purchasing and downloading the e-book, Microsoft Reader puts a digital ID tag to identify the owner of the e-book (WD passport studio for Mac(500GB/640GB) .

Therefore, this discourages distribution of the e-book because it is inscribed with the owner’s name making it possible to trace it back to the original copy that was distributed. Other e-book software uses similar DRM schemes. For example, Palm Digital Media, now known as Ereader, links the credit card information of the purchaser to the e-book copy in order to discourage distribution of the books (WD Elements series(250GB/320GB) .

The most stringent form of security that Microsoft Reader offers is called owner exclusive e-books, which uses traditional DRM technologies. To buy the e-book the consumer must first open Microsoft Reader, which ensures that when the book is downloaded it becomes linked to the computer’s Microsoft Passport account (WD Elements SE(500GB/640GB) .

Thus the e-book can only be opened with the computer with which it was downloaded, preventing copying and distribution of the text. has remotely deleted purchased copies of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm from customer's Amazon Kindles (WD External HDD ---Elements SE(750GB/1TB) .

Commenters have widely described these actions as Orwellian, and have alluded to Big Brother from Orwell's 1984.After an apology from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the Free Software Foundation has written that this is just one more example of the excessive power Amazon has to remotely censor what people read through its software, and called upon Amazon to free its e-book reader and drop DRM (WD Elements desktop(500GB/640GB) .

DRM and documents

Enterprise digital rights management (E-DRM or ERM) is the application of DRM technology to the control of access to corporate documents such as Microsoft Word, PDF, and AutoCAD files, emails, and intranet web pages rather than to the control of consumer media (WD Elements desktop(750GB/1TB) .

E-DRM, now more commonly referenced as IRM (Information Rights Management), is generally intended to prevent the unauthorized use (such as industrial or corporate espionage or inadvertent release) of proprietary documents. IRM typically integrates with content management system software (WD Elements desktop(1.5 TB/2TB) .

DRM has been used by organizations such as the British Library in its secure electronic delivery service to permit worldwide access to substantial numbers of rare (and in many cases unique) documents which, for legal reasons, were previously only available to authorized individuals actually visiting the Library's document centre at Boston Spa in England (WD passport essential SE (750GB/1TB)--USB 3.0) .


Digital watermarks are features of media that are added during production or distribution. Digital watermarks involve data that is arguably steganographically embedded within the audio or video data.

Watermarks can be used for different purposes that may include (WD passport essential (500GB/640GB) :

Watermarks are not complete DRM mechanisms in their own right, but are used as part of a system for Digital Rights Management, such as helping provide prosecution evidence for purely legal avenues of rights management, rather than direct technological restriction (WD passport for Mac(640GB/1TB) .

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. Use of third party media players and other advanced programs render watermarking useless My book essential 4 generation(640GB/1TB) .

Additionally, comparison of two separately obtained copies of audio using simple, home-grown algorithms can often reveal watermarks. New methods of detection are currently under investigation by both industry and non-industry researchers (WD My book essential 4 generation( 1.5TB/2TB) .


Sometimes, metadata is included in purchased music which records information such as the purchaser's name, account information, or email address. This information is not embedded in the played audio or video data, like a watermark, but is kept separate, but within the file or stream WD My book elite( 1TB/1.5TB) .

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.

Laws regarding DRM

Digital rights management systems have received some international legal backing by implementation of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) WD My book studio(1TB/2TB) .

Article 11 of the Treaty requires nations party to the treaties to enact laws against DRM circumvention.

The WCT has been implemented in most member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization. The American implementation is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) WD My book essential 4 generation( 1.5TB/2TB) ,

while in Europe the treaty has been implemented by the 2001 European directive on copyright, which requires member states of the European Union to implement legal protections for technological prevention measures. In 2006, the lower house of the French parliament adopted such legislation as part of the controversial DADVSI law WD My book elite(640GB/2TB) ,

but added that protected DRM techniques should be made interoperable, a move which caused widespread controversy in the United States .

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is an amendment to United States copyright law passed unanimously on May 14, 1998, which criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology that allows users to circumvent technical copy-restriction methods Seagate expansion portable (320GB/500GB) .

Under the Act, circumvention of a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work is illegal if done with the primary intent of violating the rights of copyright holders. (For a more detailed analysis of the statute, see WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaties Implementation Act Seagate expansion portable (750GB/1TB) .)

Reverse engineering of existing systems is expressly permitted under the Act under specific conditions. Under the reverse engineering safe harbor, circumvention necessary to achieve interoperability with other software is specifically authorized. See 17 U.S.C. Sec. 1201(f) Seagate expansion (1.5TB/2TB) .

Open-source software to decrypt content scrambled with the Content Scrambling System 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 Seagate Freeagent Desktop (500GB/1TB) ,

the circumvention 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) Seagate Freeagent Go(250GB/320GB) .

On 22 May 2001, the European Union passed the EU Copyright Directive, an implementation of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty that addressed many of the same issues as the DMCA.

The DMCA has been largely ineffective in protecting DRM systems, as software allowing users to circumvent DRM remains widely available Seagate Freeagent Go(500GB/640GB) .

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) Seagate Freeagent Go(750GB/1TB) .

The DMCA has had an impact oncryptography, because many[who?] fear that cryptanalytic research may violate the DMCA. The arrest of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov in 2001, 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 Seagate Freeagent Goflex(250GB/320GB) .

Sklyarov was arrested in the United States after a presentation at DEF CON, and subsequently spent several months in jail. The DMCA has also been cited as chilling to non-criminal inclined users, such as students of cryptanalysis (including, in a well-known instance, Professor Felten and students at Princeton ) Seagate Freeagent Goflex(500GB/640GB) ,

and security consultants such as the Netherlands based Niels Ferguson, who has declined to publish information about vulnerabilities he discovered in an Intel secure-computing scheme because of his concern about being arrested under the DMCA when he travels to the US Seagate Freeagent Goflex(750GB/1TB) .

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 Seagate Freeagent Goflex Pro(500GB/750GB) .

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 Seagate Freeagent Goflex desktop(1TB/2TB) .

Copying for personal, non-commercial purposes was also excluded from the range of the directive.

International issues

In Europe, there are several ongoing dialog activities that are characterized by their consensus-building intention Seagate Freeagent go for Mac(320GB/640GB) :

  • Workshop on Digital Rights Management of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), January 2001.
  • Participative preparation of the European Committee for Standardization/Information Society Standardisation System (CEN/ISSS) DRM Report, 2003 (finished) Samsung G2 protable (250gb/320GB) .
  • DRM Workshops of Directorate-General for Information Society and Media (European Commission) (finished), and the work of the DRM working groups (finished), as well as the work of the High Level Group on DRM (ongoing).
  • 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) Samsung G2 protable (500GB/640GB) .
  • 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.
  • The AXMEDIS project is a European Commission Integrated Project of the FP6. The main goal of AXMEDIS is automating the content production, copy protection and distribution, reducing the related costs and supporting DRM at both B2B and B2C areas harmonising them Samsung S2 protable (160GB/250GB) .
  • The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property is the result of a commission by the British Government from Andrew Gowers, undertaken in December 2005 and published in 2006, with recommendations regarding copyright term, exceptions, orphaned works, and copyright enforcement Samsung S2 protable (320GB/500GB) .


DRM 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 Samsung S1 Mini (120GB/160GB) :

How big brother and big media can put the Internet genie back in the bottle, and Richard Stallman in his article The Right to Readand 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 Samsung S1 Mini (250GB/320GB) ".

Professor Ross Anderson of Cambridge University heads a British organization which opposes DRM and similar efforts in the UK and elsewhere. Cory Doctorow, a prominent writer and technology blogger, spoke on the Microsoft campus criticizing the technology, the morality, and the marketing of DRM Samsung story station (1TB/1.5TB) .

There have been numerous others who see DRM at a more fundamental level. argues that DRM-free music allows for viral marketing, arguing that independent artists benefit from "free marketing" and can then focus on revenues from higher margin products like merchandise and concert ticket sales Samsung Story station (1.5TB/2TB) .

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 Samsung story station Esata(1TB/1.5TB) ."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and similar organizations such as also hold positions which are characterized as opposed to DRM.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure has criticized DRM's impact as a trade barrier from a free market perspectiveSamsung G3 station (1TB/1.5TB) .

The final version of the GNU General Public License 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. Also, in May 2006, the FSF launched a "Defective by Design" campaign against DRM Maxtor one touch 4 mini (250GB/320GB) .

Creative Commons provides licensing options encouraging the expansion of and building upon creative work without the use of DRM. In addition, the use of a Creative Commons-licensed work on a device which incorporates DRM is a breach of the Baseline Rights asserted by each license Maxtor one touch 4 plus (500GB/750GB) .

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.

According to Steve Jobs, Apple opposes DRM music after a public letter calling its music labels to stop requiring DRM on its iTunes Store Maxtor one touch 4 plus (1TB/1.5TB) .

As of January 6, 2009, the iTunes Store is DRM-free for songs. However, Apple considers DRM on video content as a separate issue and has not removed DRM from all of its video catalog.

Defective by Design member protesting DRM on May 25, 2007 Maxtor black diamond (320GB/500GB) .

As already noted, many DRM opponents consider "digital rights management" to be a misnomer. They argue that DRM manages rights (or access) the same way prison manages freedom and often refer to it as "digital restrictions management". Alternatively, ZDNet Executive Editor David Berlind suggests the term "Content Restriction, Annulment and Protection" or "CRAP" for short Maxtor cool black(640GB/1TB) .

The Norwegian Consumer rights organization "Forbrukerr├ądet" 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 EULAswhich conflict with Norwegian consumer legislation Maxtor Black diamond (320GB/500GB) .

The complaint was supported by consumers' ombudsmen in Sweden and Denmark, and is currently being reviewed in the EU. Similarly, the United States Federal Trade Commission held hearings in March 2009 to review disclosure of DRM limitations to customers' use of media products Hitachi simple touch (250GB/320GB) .

The use of DRM may also be a barrier to future historians, since technologies designed to permit data to be read only on particular machines, or with particular keys, or for certain periods, may well make future data recovery impossible — see Digital Revolution.

DRM opponents argue that the presence of DRM violates existing private property rights and restricts a range of heretofore normal and legal user activities Hitachi simple touch (320GB/500GB) .

A DRM component would control a device a user owns (such as a Digital audio player) by restricting how it may act with regards to certain content, overriding some of the user's wishes (for example, preventing the user from burning a copyrighted song to CD as part of a compilation or a review) Hitachi life studio (250GB/320GB) .

An example of this effect may be seen in Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system in which content using a Protected Media Path is disabled or degraded depending on the DRM scheme's evaluation of whether the hardware and its use are 'secure'. All forms of DRM depend on the DRM enabled device (e.g., computer, DVD player, TV) imposing restrictions that (at least by intent) cannot be disabled or modified by the user Hitachi life studio (320GB/500GB) .

Key issues around digital rights management such as the right to make personal copies, provisions for persons to lend copies to friends, provisions for service discontinuance, hardware agnosticism, software and operating system agnosticism, contracts for public libraries, and customers´ protection against one-side amendments of the contract by the publisher have not been fully addressed Hitachi life studio platinum (250GB/320GB) .

(see references 80-89) It has also been pointed out that it is entirely unclear whether owners of content with DRM are legally permitted to pass on their property as inheritance to another person.

Tools like FairUse4WM have been created to strip Windows Media of DRM restrictions Hitachi life studio platinum (320GB/500GB).

Valve Corporation President Gabe Newell also stated "most DRM strategies are just dumb" because they only decrease the value of a game in the consumer's eyes. Newell's suggests combating piracy by " greater value for customers through service value".


Due to the strong opposition that exists to DRM, many companies and artists have begun advertising their products as "DRM-Free" Hitachi life studio desk (500GB/1TB) .

Apple began selling "DRM-Free" music through their iTunes store in April 2007. It was later revealed that the DRM-Free iTunes files were still embedded with each user's account information, a technique called Digital watermarking generally not regarded as DRM. In January 2009, iTunes began marketing all of their songs as "DRM-Free", however iTunes continues to use DRM on movies, TV shows, ringtones, and audiobooks Hitachi life studio plus (320GB/500GB) .

Impossible task

Bruce Schneier has written about the futility of digital copy prevention and says it's an impossible task. He says "What the entertainment industry is trying to do is to use technology to contradict that natural law. They want a practical way to make copying hard enough to save their existing business. But they are doomed to fail Hitachi life studio plus (320GB/500GB) ."

He has also described trying to make digital files uncopyable as being like "trying to make water not wet". The creators of StarForce also take this stance, stating that "The purpose of copy protection is not making the game uncrackable - it is impossible."

Both the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 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 Hitachi X mobile (250GB/320GB) .


Methods to bypass DRM

There are many methods to bypass DRM control on audio and video content.

One simple method to bypass DRM on audio files is to burn the content to an audio CD and then rip it into DRM-free files Hitachi X mobile(320GB/500GB) .

This is only possible when the software that plays these DRM-restricted audio files allows CD-burning. Some software products simplify and automate this burn-rip process by allowing the user to burn music to a CD-RW disc or to a Virtual CD-R drive, then automatically ripping and encoding the music, and automatically repeating this process until all selected music has been converted, rather than forcing the user to do this one CD (72–80 minutes worth of music) at a time Hitachi External HDD –XL (1TB/2TB) .

Many software programs have been developed that intercept the data stream as it is decrypted out of the DRM-restricted file, and then use this data to construct a DRM-free file. These programs require a decryption key. Programs that do this for DVDs, HD DVDs, and Blu-ray Discs include universal decryption keys in the software itself (Dell Latitude XT2 Tablet PC Battery) .

Programs that do this for TiVo ToGo recordings, iTunes audio, and PlaysForSure songs, however, rely on the user's own key — that is, they can only process content that the user has legally acquired under his or her own account.

Another method is to use software to record the signals being sent through the audio or video cards, or to plug analog recording devices into the analog outputs of the media player (Toshiba Portege 335CT Battery) .

These techniques utilize the so-called "analog hole" (see below).

Analog hole

All forms of DRM for audio and visual material (excluding interactive materials, e.g. videogames) are subject to the analog hole, namely that in order for a viewer to play the material, the digital signal must be turned into an analog signal containing light and/or sound for the viewer, and so available to be copied as no DRM is capable of controlling content in this form (Dell Vostro A90 Battery) .

In other words, a user could play a purchased audio file while using a separate program to record the sound back into the computer into a DRM-free file format.

All DRM to date can therefore be bypassed by recording this signal and digitally storing and distributing it in a non DRM limited form, by anyone who has the technical means of recording the analog stream (Toshiba Satellite P15 Battery) .

However the conversion from digital to analog and back is likely to force a loss of quality, particularly when using lossy digital formats. HDCP is an attempt to restrict the analog hole, although it is largely ineffective.

Asus released a soundcard which features a function called "Analog Loopback Transformation" to bypass the restrictions of DRM. This feature allows the user to record DRM-restricted audio via the soundcard's built-in analog I/O connection (Toshiba Satellite Pro M10 Battery) .

DRM on general computing platforms

Many of the DRM systems in use are designed to work on general purpose computing hardware, such as desktop PCs apparently because this equipment is felt to be a major contributor to revenue loss from disallowed copying. Large commercial copyright infringers ("pirates") avoid consumer equipment, so losses from such infringers will not be covered by such provisions (Toshiba Portege 3110 Battery) .

Such schemes, especially software based ones, can never be wholly secure since the software must include all the information necessary to decrypt the content, such as the decryption keys. An attacker will be able to extract this information, directly decrypt and copy the content, which bypasses the restrictions imposed by a DRM system (Toshiba Portege R600 Battery) .

DRM on purpose-built hardware

Many DRM schemes use encrypted media which requires purpose-built hardware to hear or see the content. This appears to ensure that only licensed users (those with the hardware) can access the content. It additionally tries to protect a secret decryption key from the users of the system (Toshiba Satellite 1900 Battery) .

While this in principle can work, it is extremely difficult to build the hardware to protect the secret key against a sufficiently determined adversary. Many such systems have failed in the field. Once the secret key is known, building a version of the hardware that performs no checks is often relatively straightforward (Toshiba Portege R200 Battery) .

In addition user verification provisions are frequently subject to attack, pirate decryptionbeing among the most frequented ones.

A common real-world example can be found in commercial direct broadcast satellite television systems such as DirecTV and Malaysia's Astro (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery) .

The company uses tamper-resistant smart cards to store decryption keys so that they are hidden from the user and the satellite receiver. However, the system has been compromised in the past, and DirecTV has been forced to roll out periodic updates and replacements for its smart cards (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery) .


Watermarks can very typically be removed, although degradation of video or audio can occur.

Mass piracy failure

Mass piracy of hard copies does not necessarily need DRM to be decrypted or removed, as it can be achieved by bit-perfect copying of a legally obtained medium without accessing the decrypted content (Dell Vostro A90 Battery) .

Additionally, still-encrypted disk images can be distributed over the Internet and played on legitimately licensed players.


When standards and formats change, it may be difficult to transfer DRM-restricted content to new media (Dell Vostro A860 Battery) .

Additionally, any system that requires contact with an authentication server is vulnerable to that server becoming unavailable, as happened in 2007 when videos purchased from Major League Baseball ( prior to 2006 became unplayable due to a change to the servers that validate the licences (Dell Vostro 2510 Battery) .

Microsoft Zune - When Microsoft introduced their Zune[84] media player in 2006, it did not support content that uses Microsoft's own PlaysForSure DRM scheme they had previously been selling. TheEFF calls this "a raw deal".

MSN Music - In April 2008, Microsoft sent an email to former customers of the now-defunct MSN Music store: "As of August 31, 2008 (Dell Vostro 1700 Battery) ,

we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers. You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008 (Dell Vostro 1400 Battery) .

If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play."

However, to avoid a public relations disaster, Microsoft re-issued MSN Music shutdown statement on June 19th and allowed the users to use their licenses until the end of 2011 (HP Pavilion DV7 Battery)

: "After careful consideration, Microsoft has decided to continue to support the authorization of new computers and devices and delivery of new license keys for MSN Music customers through at least the end of 2011, after which we will evaluate how much this functionality is still being used and what steps should be taken next to support our customers (HP Pavilion DV4 Battery) .

This means you will continue to be able to listen to your purchased music and transfer your music to new PCs and devices beyond the previously announced August 31, 2008 date."

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