Previously suggested digital content copyright protection systems (e.g., Pay-TV, DVD) are generally all broken. Do you think it is possible to protect the copyright of digital contents? Discuss it from all aspects.

The media field attracted a lot of attention and huge amounts are being exchanged for either movies or audio disks. We have heard of movies costing lot of money and musical concerts catching attentions from all over the world. Big multimedia companies have tried since the earlier ages and the appearance of media storage devices (audiocassettes, VHS …etc.) to protect these last from illegal and fraudulent copies. Protecting the digital content has been reviewed and methods have always been cracked and bypassed; some hackers get around these measures even before the final release of the technic, under the same name, the Digital Rights Management hold a set of technologies each of which is designed to protect a specific type or format by precise methods.

The goals of DRM technics have evolved since the first versions, initially it was only intended to protect against the illegal copy, known as the 1st generation of DRM. The copy prevention set of technics has quickly shown their inefficiency and some other concerns have risen (Diehl ,2012). It was not only a matter of protecting against the copy; the second generation of DRM tools provided a methods to prevent copy, view, printing or altering. The set of tools can be software or hardware and in general embedded with the storage device or the player which ‘in theory’ should control and check the acceptance and application of security checks and comply with the set of rules defined by the authors or publishers (Harte, 2006). Things were easier at the age of audiocassettes, but the computer systems have provided other ways to record and play media content, the Internet is now a big market place where big companies tries to hold first places and reach further customers. The first digital content platform I can think about is ITunes, which has a very special and ‘bizarre’ DRM concept. “The Apple form of DRM is known as FairPlay, and it works with the standard AAC encoding format. Protected files are keyed to an individual purchaser’s identity. Although they can be copied to and from computers, they can’t be played on a given computer unless that computer has been authorized(Bove, 2013).  Another big concurrent of apple ITunes is Amazon that already offers music from all the labels without any DRM?  The only difference I can see between amazon and ITunes is that Amazon sells .mp3 files whereas ITunes sells .aac. This is a good subject to discuss, why should amazon provide free of charge millions of tracks? I personally think that this is due to the fact that most (if not all) of the DRM technics have shown their weaknesses in providing good and acceptable level of security for the content and the market’s giants are now trying a new approach which consists in avoiding challenges with hackers and trying to educate people by providing this content for small amounts (or free of charges) under the acceptance of chart which consists in a fair and correct usage of the content.



–       Tony Bove (2013). iPod and iTunes For Dummies, 10th Edition. ISBN: 978-1-118-50864-0.

–       Lawrence Harte (2006). Introduction to Digital Rights Management DRM: Identifying, Tracking, Authorizing and Restricting Access to Digital Media. ALTHOS, ISBN: 1932813403.

–       Eric Diehl (2012). Securing Digital Video: Techniques for DRM and Content Protection. Springer, ISBN: 9783642173455

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