Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I am sure that almost everyone who reads this has at some time purchased music from an online store, such as iTunes. Those who have bought their music from iTunes might have noticed a “lock” appearing on the song’s file. This “lock” is called “Digital Rights Management,” or DRM. DRM is intended to protect the intellectual rights of the artists who created the music and made it available for download. While this is beneficial for the artists, as it gives them control over what search yields thousands of ways to illegally distribute media. For example, serial number happens with their music, those who purchase the music may find it very restrictive and annoying.
Open-source hippies often protest against DRM because of its restrictiveness. They have a good reason for doing this. DRM turns media into more a hassle than a pleasure. For example, DRM prevents the purchaser from backing up his or her music files. This is restrictive to the buyer if they experience a computer disaster because it only permits him or her to have the file on a licensed machine or hard drive. Therefore, in the case of a computer disaster, the only way to recover lost music is to download the files again or burn the tracks onto CDs. Such restrictions increase the use of file-sharing systems like Limewire and BitTorrent.
It is understandable why artists and vendors would support DRM, but it lessens the pleasure the audience gets from the music. Copy protection actually does little to prevent piracy, as a quick Google generators are created within days of a video game's release, movies are “acquired” by many before they are released in theaters, and it is not unusual to find people with ridiculously large music libraries. Digital Rights Management is detrimental to the music industry because of the illegal things it pushes media users to do.

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