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Advantages of DRM

With DRM, all content owners (from large media companies to individual talent) can quickly and easily offer their media online. At the same time, they can maintain the integrity of their copyrights, no matter how widely circulated their digital material is. Individual consumers can then enjoy digital music in a convenient and legal way.

The Importance of DRM for Artists and Corporations

The need for strong digital rights management (DRM) technology has increased due to vast improvements in streaming media and compression technology. High-quality audio and video are now a reality on the Web. This reality has created one of the hottest trends on the Internet -- downloading licensed, and in some cases, unlicensed audio content. This digital media can be easily copied and distributed, without any reduction in quality. Consequently, content providers face serious problems in protecting their rights over this digital media.

Adobe Flash Access provides the ability to add content access and control to your Adobe Flash based media. This DRM provides key features such as:

  • Protection Adobe Flash Video or H.264 (FLV or F4V)
  • Live Streaming Video protection
  • Downloadable Video protection
  • Playback on PC or MAC via the Adobe Media Player
  • Adobe AIR integration for custom applications
  • Offline Playback

Microsoft providers two flavors of DRM:

Silverlight DRM powered by PlayReady technology, is the newer version of DRM, which has grown from the extensive experience Microsoft has in the DRM industry. Silverlight DRM has the following features:                                       

  • Windows Media Audio and Video 7,8,9,10 (WMA, WMAPro, WMV/VC-1), as well as MP3 audio playback
    • Microsoft has announced support for H.264/MPEG AVC and AAC playback in a future version of Silverlight coming in early 2009
  • Backwards compatibility with WMDRM protected media so you don’t have to re-package all your content
  • AES encryption
  • Playback on PC, MAC and LINUX
    • Nokia has announced that soon its mobile devices will support Silverlight DRM/PlayReady
  • Playback in Internet Explorer (IE), Safari, FireFox, Navigator, Opera and Chrome web browsers
  • Live Streaming

Windows Media DRM, WMDRM, is the pioneer of Microsoft DRM technology and has been used by Hollywood, TV Networks and all levels of business. The key features of WMDRM are:

  • Playback of Windows Media Audio and Video 7,8,9,10 (WMA, WMAPro, WMV/VC-1
  • Playback on PC, Windows Media Embedded devices such as cell phones and PDA’s and network devices
  • License Metering
  • License Chaining
  • License Revocation
  • Live Streaming
  • Offline Playback

Microsoft, along with most of the software industry, has battled piracy for many years. As a result, Microsoft has gained a deep understanding of the damage that the copying of digital media can do to artists and corporations alike. With Windows Media DRM, content providers can now use license registration and media file encryption to protect their digital media rights and stay closer to their customers.

Advantages for Content Providers

With Windows Media DRM, retailers and record labels can set up Internet music stores to distribute digital media files. Content providers can also remain confident that their digital media files will stay protected, no matter how widely they are distributed.

The license acquisition process allows companies to gather targeted customer information. For example, many music distribution Web sites now request the consumer's e-mail address in exchange for audio file licenses. Music distribution companies can then use this e-mail address to keep the consumer up-to-date on concert schedules and new compact disc (CD) releases, or to market related merchandise. Alternatively, unsigned bands can upload and market their music directly to fans using Windows Media DRM, while record labels can generate interest in new bands by offering free downloads of their new music.

Windows Media uses one of the strongest DRM encryption schemes available, which would take days of supercomputer time to decode. To raise the protection level further, a content owner can change the media file encryption keys daily, or even every few hours. In addition, the PC-by-PC licensing scheme acts as a strong deterrent to intentional piracy.

Advantages for Consumers

Digital distribution offers consumers a convenient way to access their favorite content at any time. Consumers will also be able to access higher quality digital media on the Internet because content providers using DRM will be more willing to make such content widely available. Also, the DRM licensing scheme protects consumers from inadvertently pirating a file: Consumers can be confident that the digital media they receive is authentic material, and that they have acquired it in a legitimate manner.


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