The Need for Digital Rights Management (DRM)
There is a long history of objection on the part of copyright holders to media duplication technology of any kind, including everything from player piano rolls to VHS and audio tapes.
However, copyright holders that want to distribute or generate revenues from their proprietary content, eventually must succumb to some form duplication.
When dealing with analog media such as VHS tapes and audio cassettes, a content owner typically needs to spend thousands of dollars on a minimum run of inventory that then needs to be stored to fill future orders. Additionally, the cost to fulfill orders are labor intensive requiring each order to be picked, packed, verified, shipping label printed, and placed in the mail with correct postage. Also, distributing media in analog format in no way prevents unauthorized access or distribution of the proprietary content.
As a result, many content owners have content they would currently like to bring to market, but simply don't have the resources to do so.
Digitizing media raises concerns to a whole new level. While analog media loses quality with each copy generation, and often even during normal use, digital media files may be copied an unlimited number of times without degradation in the quality of subsequent copies. In addition, the proliferation of personal computers, combined with the Internet and popular file sharing tools, have made unauthorized sharing of digital files (a/k/a digital piracy) common, possible and profitable.
Although numerous technologies have evolved to deal with these issues in the past, it wasn't until the advent of Digital Rights Management technology that these issues could effectively be addressed.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the ability to brand digital audio or video with attributes that ensure copyright protection and the way in which digital media is accessed.
DRM is used by the top online media providers including:
- Apple iTunes
- Walmart Music
- Sony Music
- Many Others!
In part, the reason for iTunes' success is that they were able to convince artists early on that their content wouldn't end up as a free download on some web server overseas and that they, the artist, would in fact, be paid on every play.
Although DRM technology is widely available, experienced resources are extremely limited with consultants charging exorbitant fees to help companies implement. It is also an extremely complicated process.
Digital Rights Director puts the same powerful techology in the hands of small businesses without requiring any technical skills or consulting engagement!
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