The True Story of DRM

Matěj Myška

Abstract

Digital rights management systems (commonly abbreviated and further referred as “DRM”) were introduced in 1994 as a technological tool for control of accessing and handling the digital content. Since then, DRM have been a very controversial topic and the story of implementing DRM has been full of turns and twists. In the beginning DRM were seen as a panacea to the problem of illegal sharing of copyrighted works. However, the unsatisfied users rapidly cracked the DRM protection and consequently another layer of protection, namely from law banning such behavior was needed.

The aim of this paper is to present the corresponding response of lawmakers on the international and European level. It should also provide a comprehensive overview of the milestones in the development of DRM.

Based on this legal and chronological summary, the crucial question, whether the DRM have failed and proven themselves as “defective by design” from the consumer’s point of view should be answered. Lastly the future development in the area of DRM should be briefly sketched out.

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