What Are Digital Rights Management?

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Technologies designed for copyright management

Digital rights management, or DRM, provides controls to a variety of people, such as copyright holders, involved in digital goods and digital content. Software developers and publishers often need to control software, documents or other digital copy they create for sale. Amazon, AOL, Apple, Microsoft and Sony use DRM management. These companies sell software and other digital goods to consumers for lifetime- or specific-term use. Although Amazon is not necessarily the content provider for digital goods sold, it might have permission from the content provider to sell the license to customers.

 Digital Rights Management Act of 1998

The Internet was starting to take hold by 1998; however, people were circumventing copyrights and content securities. This breach led to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA to be passed in the United States. The Act states that anyone unlawfully allowing downloads of content-protected technologies can be prosecuted in a court of law. The DMCA also prevents companies from allowing access to films, music and other digital goods without first obtaining the proper rights to sell licenses. So digital rights management is important for those selling digital goods through PayLoadz.com or their own website; it protects the company selling to consumers.

PDF Digital Rights

PDF, a type of format most often associated with Adobe, stands for portable document format. This file format is used for documents and isn’t married to an application software, operating system or hardware. PDF files can be opened by anyone who has a PDF reader or word processor that can open PDF files. Since documents can fall under intellectual property rights, and therefore copyrights, there are PDF digital rights. These rights are the same as digital rights management, but they are more specific regarding the type of digital goods format. PDF files, such as template documents, have PDF digital rights. You might be able to download the license to use the document, but you might not be able to change the document.

PDF Digital Rights Management for Downloadable Document Protection

There are times you might need to send a document to a coworker, but you don’t want anyone intercepting and opening the document. The creator of the document can put in place security measures, such as a password or encryption. If the document is downloaded and accessed by an uninvolved party, PDF digital rights management can come into play, and anyone who misuses the information can be legally prosecuted. People who sell digital goods will probably want to place PDF digital rights management on files, such as eBooks, to ensure they are downloaded only after the rights are purchased.

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