Stands for "Digital Rights Management." DRM refers to a collection of systems used to protect the copyrights of electronic media. These include digital music and movies, as well as other data that is stored and transferred digitally. For example, the Apple iTunes Music Store uses a DRM system to limit the number of computers that songs can be played on. Each audio file downloaded from the iTunes music store includes information about the owner of the file and how many times the file has been transferred. The protected files will not play on computers that have not been authorized to play the music.
Digital Rights Management is important to publishers of electronic media since it helps ensure they will receive the appropriate revenue for their products. By controlling the trading, protection, monitoring, and tracking of digital media, DRM helps publishers limit the illegal propagation of copyrighted works. This can be accomplished by using digital watermarks or proprietary file encryption on the media they distribute. Whatever method publishers choose to employ, DRM helps them make sure that their digital content is only used by those who have paid for it.