DRM (digital rights management) is a hotly debated topic. The purpose of DRM is to secure digital music, games, movies; etc from piracy. However, all it really does is cause problems for both consumers and businesses alike.
Why was it Implemented?
DRM was created to combat piracy. It was intended to create havoc amongst digital pirates; however, so far this has not worked as intended. Instead of causing problems for hackers, consumers who actually purchased the product (s) were the ones who suffered. In some cases the DRM was so strict that individuals could only install the software a select number of times.
After you passed the install limitation threshold, you could no longer install your software without having to call tech support. Then you would have to explain to them why you need to install more copies of the software, and they would (hopefully) allow it. DRM can also be used in digital music, which often leads to more annoyances. Instead of being able to listen to your music on your computer, your music player, phone; etc, you might be limited to just being able to use it on certain devices. And if you are like most people who buy digital music, you want the ability to use it wherever you want.
Cause and Effect
Ironically, DRM has probably hurt the businesses that use it more than it helps them. This is due to consumers either abandoning DRM content altogether, or because they have decided to pirate the content themselves. Thus, companies make less money. With any luck, this will encourage companies that once employed DRM in their digital content to abandon it altogether. Apple’s iTunes store appears to be heading down this road. At one time, the vast majority of the music on iTunes came with DRM installed; however, now more new songs appear to be DRM free. Amazon’s music store appears to be free of DRM music as well.
The general consensus is that anything that is encoded with DRM can be cracked. And this appears to be true. No matter how complex the DRM is, individuals always seem to find a way to break the DRM codes. It may take a few days, but so far this has always been the case.
With time, DRM will almost certainly fail. There are just too many people who are opposed to it, and in the end, a business wants to make a profit. And they can not do that when they use DRM.