DRM for Dummies

What is a DRM?

A DRM is a program inserted in some CDs and DVDs that you buy. You can also find it in the files you download on Itunes, fnacmusic, etc. These programs are able to prohibit you from playing CDs or files. They may also prohibit copying CDs or files.

What do DRMs prevent me from doing?

  • They prevent you from playing your CD with your computer or your car stereo
  • They prevent you from freely copying your CD to your player
  • They prevent you from freely copying your songs between your mp3 player and your computer

How does DRM work?

  • By communicating with a central server and/or storing information on your computer, DRMs allow you to play a CD or song, copy it, and more.
  • For example, they might suddenly forbid you to play all the songs you bought on a given platform the day you cancel your subscription to that download platform
  • It is also possible that you lose all your music the day the download platform that manages your licenses goes bankrupt, or simply if you change computers.

What have known DRM nuisances?

  • Some DRMs behave like computer viruses and spy your musical tastes and habits on your computer
  • Some DRMs make your computers vulnerable to viruses, spyware, and other attacks
  • All DRM install invasive and dangerous software permanently on your computer
  • DRM reduces battery life and therefore the battery life (25% less for WMA DRM10 on Creative Zen and 8% less for Apple iPod) (source: presence-pc and mp3.com)

What can I do?

  • Be careful and do not buy CDs or files with DRMs: Remember that you will never really own a disc or file with DRM, you temporarily have limited use of it, and you risk at any time a high fine, Regardless of your honesty and good faith.
  • Bring a purchased DRM disc to the store and request a refund or replacement with a real CD.
  • Disable the autorun in Windows (by pressing the Shift key when you insert your CD). Refuse to install any software that your DRM CD offers.
  • Follow the information on this site and those mentioned in the link, participate in the discussions, the actions. Alert the artists you love, senators, mayors and politicians in your area (the law must now go to the Senate in early May).

Prefer free music platforms (free or paid) with DRM-free music