Home Categories Multimedia Tutorials Tutorial

Digital Rights Management (DRM) - Do You Need to Protect Your Audio or Video Streams from Theft?

2.4/5.0 (5 votes total)

Cathy Linderman
December 07, 2006

Cathy Linderman
Cathy Linderman currently works with internet audio and video and her business provides related resources, practical training and products for all websites, whether personal or business. Cathy and her business associate, Komee, are known for their simple, practical, easy-to-learn techniques for using audio or video on websites. Editor: Komee Carpenter http://GlobalInternetBroadcasting.com
Cathy Linderman has written 1 articles for WebKnowHow.
View all articles by Cathy Linderman...

Digital Rights Management (DRM) can protect your streaming files across the internet by adding rules of usage to your files. With audio and video files being added to websites many owners are now concerned how those files are being used by others that access them.

Website owners are looking at how to protect their audio and/or video files. DRM is the most logical way to do just that, an approach to protect your digital media with a usage rule(s). DRM prevents illegal distribution of your content over the internet. Many viewers are presently cutting and pasting, downloading files and using audio and video files found on websites for their own usage, without concern over the copyright notation on that website.

First, Determine If You Need DRM

If you are streaming numerous audio and/or video files over the net that you need protection for, or a few files being viewed by 1,000's or l00's of thousands of viewers then you need to consider DRM. If you want to control how many hours or days someone can view an on-demand file, or how many times they can download a file, or if they can pass that file to friends, or copy it to a CD, or just copy and paste it to their site then you need DRM. DRM can control all of these uses from your viewers.

Advantages of DRM

There are many advantages to the usage of DRM. At this point it is usually a one-time start-up fee, and a monthly cost based on the number of licenses you need at the time, which amounts in essence to pennies on the dollar to use DRM on your files.

DRM is usually easy to apply as most DRM providers give you a menu and step by step instructions of what you need to do to protect each file, or numerous files you are using. There is also no loss of your profits from piracy or resale of your audios or videos elsewhere. You usually do not have to purchase any hardware nor software to take advantage of DRM providers.

How Does It Work

After you have obtained a provider for your DRM service, you go to their user area to attach DRM to your audio or video file. You usually select the type of player you are using (e.g. Windows Media Player, Real Player et. al.) then depending on the type of file, you select rules for those files. In other words, if you are doing an on-demand file you can select the number of hours or days a viewer has access to that file after selecting or purchasing it. If it was a downloadable file you might select how many times it can be downloaded to their computer, or if they can pass it on to others, or burn it on a CD.

All of these types of options are available using DRM. After selecting your options an encrypted code is then added to your file, which controls the 'rules' you have chosen for the file. This package (your audio or video file and the encrypted rule) are issued a license to unlock and use that file in the way that is specified in the rule(s). DRM can be integrated with your payment processor if you are charging for these audio or video streams, which means the viewer can't even access the license without payment first.

Decide On A Provider

Microsoft is one of the top providers of DRM licensing. There is a list of Microsoft partners that provide DRM. You can find them by doing a search on Microsoft for 'DRM Partners with Microsoft'. If you are doing massive amounts of audio and video over the internet, you may want to consider being a partner yourself and applying to Microsoft for it.

Of course pricing is always a major thing to check on, but remember the cheapest is not always the best provider. Check on longevity of that provider, their setup fees, integration fees if you need integration with a payment processor, and whether they are asking for a month-to-month contract or yearly contract might be of concern to you. Other options might be that you need geo-blocking for blocking out various areas of a country, or countries. Weigh all your options and go from there.


Anyone needing to protect their audio or video files should use Digital Rights Management. Find a good provider, and ask for a demonstration of their setup to make sure you are pleased with what you are going to work with. DRM will help to protect your digital streams from improper usage and distribution around the world!

Copyright 2006 Cathy Linderman

Add commentAdd comment (Comments: 0)  



Related Resources

Other Resources