New Mexico State Library

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DRM — what is it and should I care?

As with most issues and most questions, there are generally two sides, two view points.  Such is the case with DRM.  So, what is DRM?  “Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a class of technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders, and individuals with the intent to control the use of digital content and devices after sale…

Some content providers claim that DRM is necessary to fight copyright infringement online and that it can help the copyright holder maintain artistic control or ensure continued revenue streams. Proponents argue that digital locks should be considered necessary to prevent “intellectual property” from being copied freely…”  Wikipedia

“Short for digital rights management, DRM is a system for protecting the copyrights of data circulated via the Internet or other digital media by enabling secure distribution and/or disabling illegal distribution of the data. Typically, a DRM system protects intellectual property by either encrypting the data so that it can only be accessed by authorized users or marking the content with a digital watermark or similar method so that the content can not be freely distributed.” Webopedia

The Electonic Frontier Foundation (EFF) offers another view and states, on its website, “Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies attempt to control what you can and can’t do with the media and hardware you’ve purchased.”

An important issue for libraries, archives, museums and other institutions is the potential for losing our digital heritage because of DRM restrictions.  For example, librarians need to make copies in order to preserve, protect and share our cultural commons

A closely related article, also from EFF, discusses copyright in addition to the DRM issue and can be found here.

and, finally, depending on how YOU feel about it, you might want to show your support…



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