DRM-Free

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What Does DRM-Free Mean?

DRM-free refers to media without digital rights management (DRM). DRM-free technology permits software to bypass access control technologies used in media protected by copyright laws. Due to consumer frustration with the inability to play digital music on any device they choose, and for as long as they want, DRM-free products are becoming more popular.

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Techopedia Explains DRM-Free

Napster began providing DRM-free MP3 music in 2009. Apple also provides digitally recorded music as DRM-free through iTunes. Apple also provides casual copying (defined as unshared, non commercial digital media usage) by way of their FairPlay DRM software.

Furthering the new U.S. law, copyright owners can be fined if they add DRM software to media that is ruled as exempt. Amazon also provides DRM-free music. However, consumers should be forewarned about reading the fine print from the companies such as Apple, since limitations may be included.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.