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Digital Rights Management in Streaming Media

Have you ever met this situation: you bought a movie from iTunes and tried to transfer it to your Android phone, but you failed to play it on your device? You could successfully play it on your iTunes but not on your Android handset, so what’s the problem? Here is one reason you may come up with: the iTunes M4V video is not supported by your phone. For this, many video converter freeware like Handbrake and Freemake Video Converter can help you convert videos to other formats. But this is not the main problem. The most important reason is that iTunes purchased videos are usually protected with DRM which prevents you copying and playing them on other media players.

drmImage sent by author

DRM means Digital Rights Management which is used to protect the copyright of these digitalized audios, videos, ebooks, games, etc. and protects them from copying. If you are not familiar with DRM technology, this article gives you more information about DRM in streaming media. Keep reading and hope you can learn something new.

There are three main DRM technologies in streaming media and they are FairPlay of Apple Inc. Microsoft Windows Media DRM, EMMS DRM in IBM. Now let’s take a close look at them:

1.      Apple’s FairPlay DRM

FairPlay system could be said to be dominant in today’s digital music DRM system. For those who were keen on iPod player, the purchased music from Apple’s iTunes store could be allowed to play on at most 5 certificated devices and all models of iPods are among such certificated devices. However, in the past, if you wanted to play some WMA format audio on your iPod, or listen to music from iTunes on a Nokia phone, you should be failed, because FairPlay DRM had restricted the music playback and iPod could not play audio from other music services. However, Apple finally removes DRM in iTunes music and now you can do a little effort to convert WMV or other audio types and then you can play non-DRM music on iTunes or other Apple devices. You also can play iTunes music on other devices as long as the file format is supported.

But we are not so lucky with iTunes purchased movies or TV shows, audio books and they are still protected with DRM. Then you cannot freely enjoy them on your Android devices, Windows phones or other non-certificated devices.

2.      Microsoft Windows Media DRM

Microsoft’s Windows Media Player Windows Media 10 incorporates DRM technology with code-name as “Janus”.

Janus can work across devices, and can work on the next generation of Windows Media Center and also support music and other streaming service subscription. When consumers download the encrypted media files from the website, they need to obtain a license that contains the key to unlock the media files before playback.

Content owners can easily manage these licenses and the distribution of the secret key with Windows Media Digital Rights Management program. Windows Media DRM technology allows users to register and download the complete music and users even can play twice on the computer. The third time playing the file, it will be directed to the website sales page, where he can pay for the music license. This DRM will ensure the resources will not be used for illegal purpose.

3.      IBM’s EMMS DRM protection

EMMS is a digital media management system which will let users download music from www.grammy.com and also protect the copyright of the music. This system has an open architecture that can continue to improve in the audio compression, encryption, formatting, watermarks, end-user devices and application integration and other aspects.

EMMS tools will enable a retailer or end users to send the protected content to multiple users (such as sending music attached to an e-mail to multiple recipients). The initial recipient can have all the right to use the music, but if the same music files or e-books are sent again, then the next recipients only have limited powers to use these data, unless he buys all use right from the original publisher.

EMMS from IBM has been adopted by many corporations all over the world. For example, MusicMatch Jukebox and Real Jukebox from RealNetworks Company get support from Sony and BMG Entertainment Company.

However, DRM has limited the users’ right to freely enjoy their purchased content. So here you are recommended a useful DRM Media Converter to get rid of DRM of any kind in audio and video.

By Lacey Young

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