Until few years back, piracy was not a serious problem with the music industry as with the popularity of the recorded sounds, people were buying vinyl records from the record stores. They could enjoy the songs at home, gatherings and even swap them with friends but copying these songs was most difficult and expensive. Though many people contrived to create bootleg records, these were mere collections of the live performances and outtakes, not to the interest of the record companies. But the invention of the magnetic tape as a means of recording medium brought many changes basically with blank micro cassettes.
Though many of the executives of the recording industry were showing their concern on duplication of the cassette tapes they had bigger concern than this, as now they had to handle the CDs and digital sounds. CD burners were enabling the people to copy music from CD to their personal computers naturally giving much greater cause of concern for the recording industries. People now have access to unlimited download of the music, can share them and can even make duplicate music contents.
As changes began to creep in the music world, what should be the reaction of the music industry? This is the question that has been worrying all music lovers and all those associated with the world of music. (Layton (A), Online)Soon record companies began to formulate new techniques as they began to sell special music CD’s to consumers with the notion inscribed among the consumers that what they were buying were ordinary compact discs. But when people began to play these CDs on their computers, they witnessed a strange occurrence.
Their programs got frozen and applications slowed down and the root cause of the problem-all the hidden files happened to become almost impossible to install. The question that arose was, why would any company resort to such ways and the answer to this was copyright issue but digital revolution was making it impossible for the copyright holders to put a control on the distribution of the property and with this appeared the concept Digital Rights Management inhibiting the use of privacy. Digital Rights Management refers to the scheme that puts ardent control on the copyrighted material using technological ways.
It implies that music content is controlled through the various applications and methods by making the use of various computer programs. According to Windows Media, “Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a proven platform to protect and securely deliver content for playback on computers, portable devices, and network devices”. DRM provides advantages at multiple levels. It benefits the content owners, content users, and the providers all at the same time. In addition to this DRM also helps counter the evil schemes of hackers and dishonest traders on the Internet who try to misappropriate intellectual properties.
Most online companies and distributors have been fighting piracy and thus protect their financial position and reputation. The Microsoft DRM launched in 1999 has multiple new features that provide content owners many channels to reach their consumers. According to Alice Pierce (2008), “This new technology has enabled the rights managers on the operating system platforms to deliver music, videos and multimedia items in a protected and encrypted format. The file formats thus created can be streamed or downloaded straightaway on the computer of the user”.
Online stores and distributors of digital media files are also protected by DRM. The new DRM technology permits the content providers to innovate various ways that will expand their online content without having to worry about piracy and copying problems. DRM also has its advantages on consumers. Because distribution of content has been made digital, the consumers have wide and flexible access to a large variety of content in a safe and secure manner as opposed to the problems that arise with duplicated or pirated content.