Tackling digital piracy is a priority for brands and businesses that apply various strategies and technologies to protect digital copyrights from abuse.
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Digital rights management (DRM) is the adoption of technology designed to control the use of copyrighted digital content and secure rights, revenue, and reputation.
- Digital piracy threatens intellectual property rights owners, brands, and creators.
- Digital Rights Management (DRM) and other technologies help owners to control the use of their copyrighted works, yet digital piracy is rampant.
- To help you in the fight against online copyright infringements, Wiser Market’s anti-piracy protection solution enforces your digital rights through advanced technology and a team of experts for efficient and immediate results.
Counterfeits, copyright infringements, brand impersonation, and other intellectual property rights abuse are widespread on digital channels.
These infringements can severely impact businesses and damage their revenue and reputation.
Proactively applying tools and strategies to fight back can be powerful, including DRM technologies that attempt to prevent, track, and control the use of digital copyrighted works, in addition to takedown actions and legal enforcement.
In this article, we’ll explain what DRM is and how it’s applied to protect your digital assets.
What is Digital Rights Management?
Digital rights management (DRM) is the adoption of technology to control the use of copyrighted digital materials.
Today, every brand and business creates digital content that can be abused.
The goal of DRM is to protect the rights of copyright owners and prevent unauthorized copying, modification, use, or distribution of copyrighted content via the internet, also known as digital piracy.
What are Examples of Digital Piracy?
Copyright infringement is about using someone else’s content without permission, both online and offline, such as:
- Uploading photos to a social media account
- Downloading video
- Selling goods with copyrighted images
- Distributing e-book
- Copying software that you didn’t buy
- Reproducing copyrighted work without making significant changes and infringing on their rights
Why Do We Need Digital Rights Management?
Unlicensed use of digital media is easy, and so digital piracy is extremely widespread.
It usually involves unauthorized uploading, downloading, streaming and sharing of copyrighted works without permission.
It can be done by an individual or by scammers who profit from selling counterfeits, files, software, and more.
It may look like fighting online piracy is only for large businesses, but the truth is that today, virtually every business creates online content that can be infringed, even in the form of social media posts.
The issue has exploded in recent years due to new technologies and methods for content creation, duplication, and distribution.
Revolutionary technologies enable anyone to produce original content and then upload and share it.
At the same time, digital devices make it easy to use any media (whether originally physical, analog, or digital) in a digital form.
Together with file-sharing tools online, unauthorized distribution of copyrighted content has become simple and easy.
Without going into the controversy regarding the use of DRM, managing your intellectual property rights online enables you to better control the use of your copyrights.
Digital Rights Management Technologies
So how does Digital Rights Management work? How does it help stop the illegal use of copyrighted material?
Here are some of the different approaches and technologies developed to do exactly that:
- Commonly used in DRM, encryption encodes digital content into a code that can only be read by devices or software having the key to unlock or decrypt it. Usually, users need to purchase encryption keys in order to use the work.
- Verification is a strategy for permission management.
- Product Key. A product key can represent a license to a copy of the software, required during the installation process.
- Activation Restriction. DRM can limit the number of devices a user can install the content on.
- Copy Restriction. It aims to prevent users from copying, printing, and forwarding a work by limiting their access. It is common for content owners like e-publishers to apply restrictions to electronic books and documents, allowing users to view the content but not to make a copy. In other cases, it can restrict the number of copies and the conditions.
- Regional Lockout. Also called region coding, it prevents the use of certain works unless the user is in a specific region or territory.
- Watermarks. This technique includes tracking through digital watermarks embedded in the audio or video content. It prevents users from reusing visual content as their own (such as by recording the copyright owner or the distribution chain) but it does not enforce restrictions. It is often used for photographs and videos.
- Metadata. Rather than being embedded, the information is separate from the content, but it’s within the file or stream. Metadata can include information about the purchases and the rights owner (such as the publisher or author).
Sometimes DRM technologies use hardware or other features and restrictions.
When brands seek to restrict or control the use of their digital content, they don’t have to choose just one strategy, and instead can deploy several strategies for enhanced protection.
Why Digital Rights Management?
Digital rights management can be beneficial for copyright holders, including brands, organizations, businesses, and creators, such as:
- Right to Ownership. Copyright law protects original works from the moment they are created and fixed in a tangible form of expression. Still, copyrights are often infringed upon by copying, modifying, and reselling. DRM tools help establish ownership and help avoid legal issues.
- Enforce Copyright Laws. DRM techniques help to enforce copyright law online. For example, an image that is copyrighted can be used, even by taking a screenshot. Embedded protections like watermarks can help with enforcement.
- Partnerships and Collaborations. Copyright owners can control the use of their copyrighted works with DRM tools, promoting third-party partnerships and collaborations.
- Raise Awareness. When users are unaware or don’t care about copyright ownership and protection, DRM technology forces them to be aware of ownership and intellectual property protection.
- Monetize Content Effectively. Copyrighted works are protected for a reason. Creators deserve the credit and the income from their creations, be it a book, a video or software. DRM helps users to access the content without making it too limiting for them, so they choose not to access it.
- Secure information. Restricted access helps to protect information and track who viewed it. Secure information can drive business growth.
Wiser Market Online Brand Protection
Digital Rights Management can be helpful, but it can also be breached.
The proactive approach to protecting your digital content calls for prevention, tracking, and control together with taking down cases of illegal use, such as unauthorized distribution, sharing, and reselling.
Wiser Market offers a solution that can continuously search and monitor to analyze and identify brand infringements, and effectively enforce, eliminate and deter scammers across online channels, including marketplaces and social media platforms.
Wiser Market’s Monitoring System is a powerful tool for digital rights protection in the fight against online copyright infringement.
The combination of advanced technology and our team of experts delivers the ideal result: quick, efficient and immediate take-down actions against those abusing your brand.
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What are DRM Laws?
Countries around the world have laws that prohibit abusing copyrighted works. In the United States, it’s part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In the European Union, it’s the Copyright and Information Society Directive 2001. The Directive prohibits, for example, the intentional circumvention of effective technological measures designed to prevent or restrict unauthorized copying in databases.
How can embedded technology assist with DRM?
One approach to protection is stopping copyright theft before it occurs. To this end, you can have encryption or computer code embedded in the digital content that limits access or use.
Here are ways in which embedded tools assist with DRM:
- Control access to your content. You can control the number of times, people, or times of access
- Establish your ownership of the content
- Track the usage of your content
- Prevent viewers from using your content, such as through saving, sharing, or editing
- Restrict access based on parameters, such as devices and IP addresses
What can DRM system control?
DRM systems can control viewing, copying, downloading, printing, altering, and distributing copyrighted works without permission from the copyright owner.
Is copyright violation always malicious?
Whether copyright infringement is done for malicious purposes or not, it is illegal, and you can take action to stop it.