Digital Rights Management

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What Does Digital Rights Management Mean?

Digital rights management (DRM) is any access control technology used to protect and license digital intellectual property (IP). DRM is used by publishers, manufacturers and IP owners for digital content and device monitoring.


Digital media licensees benefit from an open and fair range of DRM licensing options, which balance the rights of IP owners and Internet users, translating to exponential profits for digital product manufacturers and retailers.

Techopedia Explains Digital Rights Management

DRM protects copyrighted digital software, music, films, TV shows, games and similar media.

Consumer advocacy groups argue that aggressive DRM protection denies fair digital media access. However, DRM continues to be a viable tool for managing digital privacy, averting piracy and fair compensation to IP owners.

Digital rights advocacy groups include:

  • Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA): Nonprofit organization dedicated to the interests of computer and video game players in the U.S. and Canada. Based in the U.S.
  • Free Software Foundation (FSF): Nonprofit organization that supports the free software movement
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): International nonprofit organization that deals in digital rights advocacy and legal affairs
  • Digital Rights Ireland: Organization in the Republic of Ireland working for civil liberties related to digital rights
  • European Digital Rights (EDR): International advocacy group based in Belgium that focuses on copyright, security, freedom of expression and privacy
  • Open Rights Group (ORG): U.K. organization committed to preserving digital rights. Focuses on censorship, knowledge access, privacy, freedom of information and electronic voting (e-voting).

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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.