Think DRM Is Dead? Then You’re Dead Wrong

DRM died when Apple switched to unprotected downloads, right?

Utterly wrong: music has never been more inflexible, protected, and non-transferrable.  And for proof, here’s a rundown of the padlocks installed by the largest music services in the world.

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18 Responses

  1. starkreality



    You can download and store ANY video that is posted on the web. Period. Plenty of software available to do it.

    Radio streaming

    “Radio Trackers” can capture, auto lable and store ANY stream. Period. Plenty of software available to do it.


    MP3 “Washers” & “Cleaners” remove watermarking and other ids. MP3s can then be distributed on file locker and torrent sites.

    Next ….

    • NEXTdaho

      Of course, they’re not allowed or designed for the system. Those are hacks that are not allowed.

    • Visitor

      The systems are still DRM systems, even if illegal hacks such as those you mention exist. They are hacks, the are illegal, and using them is a federal crime, as the article states.

      – Versus

      • starkreality

        There are literally hundreds of software programs that enable people to download and store the content. The mass behavior norm is to be able to download the content. They are not just programs used by a few “hackers”, but are widespread-in-general-use software tools (Just spend time at any college or with college students.) As far as I am aware none of the providers of the software tools have ever been prosecuted. In a culture where this is the norm, these partial “DRM-type” measures are only panaceas and veneers to placate content creators, while the technology companies continue to profit from the uploading and downloading of content.

        Google’s YouTube: It is crime to upload content to YouTube which you do not have the permission or rights to the content. Google have fought and attempted to put all kinds of challenges and blocks in place to prevent the policing of content. Their current compliance with DMCA has only been after major legal battles forced them. They continue to profit from both illegal and legal content on the site.

    • Puleeze

      This is technically breaking the law though you will not go to the pound me in the A** prison.

      The basics.

      Yes, I am quoting Wikipedia.

      “DMCA criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself.

  2. Fred

    This article is yet another masterpiece on DigitalMusicNews….

  3. Visitor

    Smartphone use at concerts should not be tolerated either. Namely because it is extremely rude to the viewers behind the filmer.

    – Versus

    • Visitor

      i love watching concerts through the lens of somone’s ipad in front of me. It really helps me connect.

  4. Vol11

    YouTube TOS:

    You agree not to circumvent, disable or otherwise interfere with security-related features of the Service or features that prevent or restrict use or copying of any Content or enforce limitations on use of the Service or the Content therein.

  5. Kick

    Instead of saying for iTunes that non-music content is “oftentimes DRM-protected,” you could actually say which content is protected: it’s not hard to find out. It’s all videos, audiobooks and ebooks. (As well as apps, but we’re talking here about media.)

  6. @georgedearing

    Apparently the death of DRM has been grossly overstated.

  7. JayShoe

    I have a feeling that many readers think that this is a bash on DRM. There is nothing wrong with DRM in the right business model.

    – DRM is dead for purchases of music. As it should be.

    – DRM survives for leases/non-paid views. As it should be.

    – DRM survives for purchases of most movies. As it should NOT be.

    My opinion is that if you purchase something it should be non-drm because you are paying up front for that content. If you lease something I see nothing wrong with DRM. Otherwise people would steal it and the business would lose the ongoing revenue that makes it worth it to them to give it to you for free or a fraction of its cost. It’s not like a car lease where the business can simply repo the car. You can not repo digital content – unless it has DRM!

  8. Laughable

    I invite you to go to and do a search for “YouTube”. Over 100 million downloads of capture tools illustrate how YouTube has no DRM. Just because something is hidden in a directory does not mean it is DRMed. Watermarks, also not a DRM. Just because the EULA says you can’t do something… also not DRM (that’s LRM, legal rights management).

  9. Steve

    This article misstates what DRM is when in fact the article simply highlights business logic and how it manifests into actual functionality.

  10. Management

    Digital Rights Management also involves armed security teams escorting top executives’ hard drives at Google and Facebook.

  11. @robertocarreras

    “music has never been more inflexible, protected, and non-transferrable”