Pros and Cons of DRM

The usage of DRM has had an overwhelmingly negative response from consumers. Despite this backlash, content producers in the music, movie and video game industries continue to use some type of DRM. There are arguments on both sides of the issue, leading some content producers to question whether it is appropriate to include DRM restrictions in their products.

Content producers use DRM protections to limit copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property. Many of them believe that using Digital Rights Management technology can protect artist and developers’ rights to control media that they have created. This protection can also maintain the revenue streams from that media, allowing artists and developers to continue to earn an income from residuals and royalties stemming from purchase of their works. Movies studios claim that they have lost over 5 billion dollars in revenue from piracy and copyright infringement. They use DRM to attempt to staunch this flow. If artists can continue to earn money from past creations, they are encouraged to create new works. Record producers, movie studios and video game companies are much more likely to take a chance on an unknown artist or developer if they know that they can make money from the works of those artists and developers.

The usage of Digital Rights Management is not popular with consumers, who desire portability and the ability to use their media the way that they want. Critics claim that Digital Rights Management technology can limit even legal usage of media purchased by consumers. This usage may include creating backup copies and lending by libraries, which are considered fair use under copyright law. Other critics of DRM usage claim that there is a chance that some media may become totally unusable with changes in technology. Another problem they find is that may be an anti-competitive practice to include DRM technology in products. They believe that current copyright laws do not give copyright holders the rights to restrict usage at the level that they currently do. Critics have many different reasons to oppose Digital Rights Management, ranging from legal arguments to practical ones. Some call it Digital Restrictions Management, claiming that record labels, movie studios, publishers and game and app developers make their products defective by design.

The use of Digital Rights Management features is controversial. People on both sides of the issue give reasonable arguments supporting their stances. The debate continues to rage. The ultimate decision lies with the consumer, however. Consumers can choose whether to purchase products that use DRM technology or to not purchase those products. The content producers will find out whether Digital Rights Management features actually protect their products or limit usage unnecessarily. They will be able to gauge this through sales and other methods.

DRM technology is used to protect artists and other content producers from copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property. Its usage is not popular with critics and consumers who find it overwhelmingly restrictive. Ultimately its usage will be determined by how many consumers choose to use DRM protected media.

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    1. Why DRM Isn’t Good for Authors

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