Digital rights management

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Digital rights management (DRM) is an umbrella term that refers to access control technologies used by publishers and other copyright holders to limit usage of digital media or devices. DRM can also refer to restrictions associated with specific instances of digital works or devices. The term is often confused with copy protection and technical protection measures, which refer to specific technologies that control or restrict the use and access of digital content on electronic devices. Such technologies act as components of a complete rights-management system design.

The use of digital rights management has been controversial. Advocates argue it is necessary for copyright holders to prevent unauthorized duplication of their work to ensure continued revenue streams.[1] The Free Software Foundation suggests that the use of the word “rights” is misleading and suggest that people instead use the term digital restrictions management.[2] Their position is essentially that copyright holders are attempting to restrict use of copyrighted material in ways not included in the statutory, common law, or Constitutional grant of exclusive commercial use to them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation considers some DRM schemes to also be anti-competitive practices, citing the iTunes Store as an example.[3]

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