Understanding How Digital Rights Management Works
The internet was never intended to be used as the global marketing platform that it has recently become, in fact just 25 years ago the web was only there to allow users to upload and download data from around the world. Nowadays, it plays host to over 1 billion websites, of which just over 50% are believed to be business-orientated in nature.
Years ago, the concept of copyright infringement was of minimal concern and it was often a case that a simple watermark would suffice to ward off anyone hoping to steal intellectual property (IP). These days however, and with such a broad variety of businesses now calling the World Wide Web their playground, it’s not uncommon for certain unsavoury services to digitally steal from others.
This is known as an infringement on digital rights and prosecutions can result in a very hefty fine – and there have even been instances of prison sentences being issued in severe circumstances.
Where does digital rights management (DRM) come into the fray?
DRM has been around for a few years and its sole responsibility is to safeguard those that have created, manufactured, or developed digital elements from theft. The subject can be a very tricky one to understand, in the sense that where a person would be permitted to place a lock on their own property and belongings to protect them; they are not able to do so digitally.
Watermarks can only go so far and there are even tools that can help to lift these stamps of authenticity. As a result those that develop software, images and resources have had to demand a greater level of protection; and in steps the features of DRM. By utilising the most advanced coding facilities and data restrictive protocols, this type of security is able to track, limit and deter the use of intellectual property.
Although not fool proof, it is certainly capable of protecting assets from those that might want to reproduce particular aspects of an item of software, for example. By programming an asset to include one of these security protocols, it becomes a possibility for the original owner to block access to their creation (or product), as well as restrict its usage.
Platforms like Amazon often rely on DRM to ensure that all books sold are only accessible on singular devices. By doing so they can eliminate illegal sharing, so a company hoping to sell a digital product can all but ensure that their customers must pay for the privilege. Alternatively, images and photos can also have coding attached to restrict a viewer’s potential to steal and recycle the image as their own work – an activity that used to cost businesses combined totals of $14 billion.
By making full use of digital property protocols, websites and software development programmers can better protect their data, infrastructure and intellectual property from being stolen – and this can save a company thousands of dollars in pursuing claims and prosecutions.