As editor-in-chief at HotHardware.com, Dave Altavilla oversees a staff responsible for reporting on the latest advancements in technology. On the cutting edge of this market’s most vital issues, Altavilla’s team covers many topics, like digital rights management software, for example.
Digital rights management, or DRM, emerged as a way to combat piracy. Due to the ease of copying media in the digital age, companies use DRM to control access to copyrighted content, including videogames, movies, and music. Most DRM strategies involve three components: identifying the copyrighted material, controlling its distribution, and deciding how buyers may utilize it once they have purchased it. These restrictions may include limiting the number of downloadable copies or forbidding the consumer from printing out the material.
Companies use two main methods for DRM. Web-based permission software involves a user receiving an access key to open the software. Each computer/IP address gets a unique identification mark so that subsequent users cannot install the item onto their hard drive. Alternatively, the digital watermark style applies mostly to DVRs and sends out a “flag” that prevents recorders from capturing an event on television; however, some customers complain that the limitations of this approach are too strict and that maintaining everything through the Internet prevents buyers from actually owning the product they purchased.