What is Digital Rights Management?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) plays a key role in the struggle against online piracy. DRM technologies do not catch pirates, instead they make it impossible for them to steal or share protected content in the first place.  

How does DRM work? 

Simply put, DRM ensures that video content is stored and transmitted in an encrypted form so that only authorized users and devices can access it and play it.  

When it comes to digital content the creator and distributor need to be able to monitor any illegal duplication or theft. To do this they need to utilise several tools of which DRM is just one, albeit an important one. 

DRM allows the content producer to take a proactive approach to protecting digital content as it creates barriers to prevent theft in the first place. Many DRM tools work by encrypting or by embedding code into the content itself that limits access to users without the correct permissions.   

DRM helps a content creator to: 

  • Establish ownership of the content and how it is used 
  • Set expiry dates on the content to prevent it being used after a certain time 
  • Set view limits to restrict the number of times a piece of content can be viewed 
  • Stop users from taking screenshots, edit, print, share and save content 
  • Restricts access based on various criteria such as location, devices, or IP addresses 

DRM and security  

DRM is playing an increasing role in data security as it allows an organization to prove compliance and prevent users from accessing sensitive content or using certain areas. It also helps businesses avoid falling foul to legal issues that can arise from the unauthorized use of assets.  

Access Control and Encryption 

Organizations can use codes to encrypt their works and establish requirement from users in order for them to access content. These requirements can be hardware or credentials such as encryption keys that a user can purchase to view or use the content.  

Encryption allows digital rights owners to stop users from: 

  • Modifying or saving content 
  • Copying or sharing content 
  • Printing content  
  • Making screengrabs 
  • Limit the number of times a piece of content can be viewed 

DRM can also be utilised to protect the keys and credentials distributed to users to access content.  

This allows them to restrict account sharing – where multiple users can access content in a single account and activation code sharing – where keys are sold to users to access content.   

For more information on how DRM content encryption works click HERE 


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