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Jargon: DRM

Jargon: DRM

A while back, I had a conversation with someone who wasn't familiar with DRM as a term. Naturally, I thought to myself, I have to blog about this two months from now. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. DRM is a category of a technologies designed to combat digital piracy and make sure the stakeholders of digital properties like music are having their content distributed and consumed in the manner of their choosing. You come into contact with DRM everyday, whether you know it or not.

Region locking is a popular form of DRM. If you have a DVD and attempt to play it in a Japanese DVD player, it will likely not play. The devices belong to different regions. The more modern version of this is the availability of shows on Netflix based on your location. Regional distribution is a big part of the digital media business, so that's why technologies have been created to control it. On a related note, controlling the number of devices/sub-accounts an profile can have is a part of DRM.

The windows operating system makes extensive efforts to enforce DRM and make sure you, the user are not doing anything Microsoft doesn't want you to. This is in addition to sending large amount of telemetry data of your everyday usage.

DRM usually involves wrapping content in an encrypted format. There are interesting ethical discussions surrounding old, unsupported forms of DRM locking content away forever. Speaking of being locked away forever, #bloggingreturns!


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