With the explosive rise of digital media, computing devices and digital networks have allowed the ability for digital media to be distributed at a highly flexible and cost-efficient way. This has led to a change on how the media is being consumed, with more and more sales dropping for DVD’s and CD’s causing problems for many retailers, but on the other hand, digital media is rising in contrast. However, with the media being accessed digitally it also allows people to access, manipulate or even duplicate the media beyond the terms and conditions that was originally agreed upon. An illustration of this is the largely spread piracy of video/audio files using a peer-to-peer which has left a rather large problem within the media industry. Accompanying a problem is always a solution and the solution to this particular problem is Digital Rights Management or DRM for short, or is it?
“Digital rights management (DRM) is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media. The purpose of DRM is to prevent unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they've purchased.” - Margaret Rouse, 2009
Therefore, has the introduction of DRM combated this issue? Short answer: No. However, this answer wouldn’t satisfy most curious minds, as a result we are going to be looking into the reasons behind why it hasn’t solved the problems.
Digital Rights Management – Where did it start?
Let’s proceed by going back to the start of the DVDs with an early example of a DRM system being the Content Scrambling System or CSS for short; this system encrypts the data so that only DVD players that are licensed can decode it, however, the Content Scrambling System had a large weakness and that lies in the fact that it was only 40 bits long, which is not a very long key and can fall somewhat quickly to a brute force attack. The 40 bit length key was likely chosen to satisfy U.S. export regulations, and although it is still used today more modern media technologies such as HD-DVD and Blu-ray are using new DRM systems.
What was the CSS aiming to achieve? The CSS was designed to protect the content of the DVDs from piracy this includes copying the DVD and selling it on disks or uploading the information to the internet and sharing through the means of peer-to-peer networking. The content scrambling system was also capable of region-locking making it hard for people who buy foreign DVDs and entertainment to use the media.
Following the CSS we attained a cryptographic system that adds copy protection to HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs. The system features several nested layers of encryption and a robust revocation system, as well as a sophisticated key generation process. This makes it harder for it to be broken and gives for a system called “Managed Copy” which allows consumers to make legal copies of their discs, for back-ups, portable players and storage on a media server.
Digital Rights Management – Within the...