What Is DRM? Is It Legal To Remove DRM?

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With copyright infringements reaching alarming levels every day, piracy is in full swing these days. As a result of this, it becomes very obvious and required on the publisher’s/owner’s part to get concerned about piracy of their proprietary content. DRM i.e. Digital Rights Management sees to it effectively. In this article, we will let you know everything about DRM and if its removal is legal.

What Is DRM And What Purpose Does It Serve?

Digital Rights Management

Actually, DRM is a technology used in deterring unauthorized circulation of the various copyrighted and proprietary digital media. It poses a restriction upon the consumers regarding the platform on which they can play the media and also by barring them from sharing videos and other media after they have purchased the content. For example, DRM protected videos might be viewed on some specific platforms but cannot be shared or copied.

Apple’s iTunes uses DRM Technology to protect their data from unfair re-distributions. It makes sure that the consumer will be able to play the purchased media only through iOS devices.

Why Do We Need DRM-Free Media Files?

But the question arises- “What if the buyer wants to enjoy the M4V (video format for DRM encoded iTunes videos) versioned files of iTunes on their Windows, Android, or non-Apple devices?” After all, Windows and Android both are such ubiquitous and compelling operating systems!

Plainly speaking, you can’t achieve that without some workarounds.

Therefore, broadly speaking, with DRM encrypted videos, the issue is that you cannot play them directly on popular video playing software like Windows Media Player, VLC Player, etc. This is certainly a downer. In fact, many consumers have vehemently argued that this is very much against the concept of consumer rights because even after having paid the cost of the media, they are not getting full access to their content regarding as and where they want it to be played.

Hence it becomes more or less a necessity to strip DRM from the purchased media.

Is Removing DRM Sinful?

Now, it’s time to answer the much hotly debated topic whether you can kill DRM from media files or not in a lawful manner.

Legal or not, it completely depends on your intents and the purpose of doing so. To quell your confusion, we must tell you that DRM removal is perfectly legal only if done for personal usage. But if you are going to share the media on social platforms or even slightly thinking of using it commercially after DRM removal, then that is definitely prohibited and you might invite trouble doing so.

Our Two Cents Worth On DRM Removal

We must tell our readers that you might use the existing software products and tools for ripping DRM from your various DRM encoded media like videos and audios, but you must not make any profit out of it or circulate it on piracy sites, nor make any commercial or sale-related use of the media after the DRM removal has been performed. Because doing so will be considered as a legal crime. Though the exact laws might vary from country to country, yet we have tried our level best to cover the broadest perspective which you will decidedly find helpful.

About The Author

  • Peeyush Bhatt

    A decent and fun loving person with a keen interest in waking up early, but find it extremely hard. Also, I like deep breathing. It really helps.

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Peeyush Bhatt

A decent and fun loving person with a keen interest in waking up early, but find it extremely hard. Also, I like deep breathing. It really helps.

1 thought on “What Is DRM? Is It Legal To Remove DRM?”

  1. I appreciate the sentiment — but there’s one glaring ommision. Any discussion of the legality of removing DRM is incomplete without discussing the DMCA. In the US, working-around/removing/cracking digital access control methods, and even discussing/sharing information about how to do it, is illegal under the DMCA. That doesn’t mean it’s a good, just, or ethical law, but it is the law as written.


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