Should DRM be applied to everything online?

3 years ago

Content creating for artists has changed over the past 30 years. Singers who would previously record their albums and sell it through CDs, phonograph records, are now selling their music digitally online through apps like Spotify and iTunes. Same way, movie makers who would sell their movies on VHS and DVDs are now streamed on apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc. Now the problem with that is people illegally download their work from websites without having to pay for it. This is where Digital rights management comes into play.

What is DRM(Digital Rights Management)

Digital rights management is a method of adding a trademark to the content people sell online. This method helps artists to safely sell their work online and it makes sure that no one tries to steal that content. Music, movies an and other files on the internet can easily be copied and reproduced. These files that were bought by one person could then be easily distributed to others who didn't pay for it.

DRM is applied by adding an encrypted code in the file that prevents the buyer to copy it. It's almost like adding a lock to a file with a key code. The code allows only a specific number of devices to run the files or only allows one device to run the file at a time. This method has reduced piracy of content online.

How secure is DRM?

As far as the question of security goes, with todays developed technology, and hacking, many people still find ways to decrypt the content. But ordinary users who don't know how hacking works wont be able to decrypt it. A few things that DRM applies are

  • It prevents users to make changes in your file.
  • It does not allow to take screenshots or record the screen for certain apps example Netflix, Amazon prime etc.
  • It restricts the users to make many copies of the file or even print certain art works.
  • Some codes might be set such that if someone tries to decrypt and open the file, the file gets deleted.
  • A certain time period might be added after which the user can not access the files.
  • Give permission to only a certain type of device or in a particular region only.
  • Watermarks are added to artwork so that even if someone tries to steal it, people will know its been pirated.

Should DRM be applied to everything online?

If DRM is applied to everything online , it should be applied with proper 'Terms & Conditions' which allow people to use online content in a fair manner. For example , YouTube has a very strict copyright policy that does not allow content creators to use each others videos in their videos. On on hand, it totally makes sense . This way everyone will post something unique. But on the other hand, using even a little bit of copyrighted content in their video will demonetize their income. If DRM would be applied on everything, there would be no memes on the internet! Nobody could use images or videos they find online without paying for it.

Top DRM software providers

  1. Digify
  2. Caplinked
  3. Foxfit PDF SDK
  4. Seclore EDRM
  5. Virtum security


In conclusion, DRM software should not necessarily be applied on everything but rather be applied only on virtual products being sold like music, movies, Art or games with proper 'Terms & conditions' , because every time someone downloads pirated content, it's like directly stealing from the maker. This software can also be applied on personal details like a PDF of Passport or bank statements to make sure no one makes any changes in it when they are transferred.

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