Digital Rights Management

Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is found in many of today’s forms of digital entertainment – Music CD’s, Movie DVD’s, Computer Games and music purchased online.

DRM technology began to find use in Audio CD’s following the heavy use of MP3’s in the late 1990’s. The intent of DRM was 'aimed at tracking and controlling the use of content once it has entered the market.' (May, 2003)[1] But these could often be worked around easily; with one such method involving the use of a marker pen to coat the outer edge of the disc[2]. Frost (2007) suggests 'we can be confident that there is theoretically no such thing as DRM that cannot be cracked'[3].

Music files bought through online music stores such as iTunes contain forms of DRM built in to each separate file. In the case of iTunes, music files are in the form of AAC files with the m4p file extension. These files are encoded with Apple’s FairPlay DRM technology, restricting the ways in which the files are able to be used.

1. May, C. (2003). Digital rights management and the breakdown of social norms. First Monday. Retrieved from
2. CD Crack: Magic Marker Indeed. (2002). Retrieved from
3. Frost, R.L. (2007) Rearchitecting the music business: Mitigating music piracy by cutting out the record companies. First Monday Retrieved from
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