DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. And it’s something we want to send to the deepest pits of hell, not only in name but in concept. DRM is that brilliant scheme used by the recording and other media organizations to protect their content from being copied. The concept is meant to be a deterrent against piracy. However, the tendency is that it’s the legitimate users who are adversely affected. The pirates, meanwhile, have means to easily break DRM and keep on mass-producing their bootlegged DVDs and CDs.

The main argument against DRM is that a legitimate user should be able to use the content–music, videos, movies, or others–he purchased and downloaded legally in any way he wants, as long as it’s within fair use. So, for instance, a user should theoretically be able to listen to songs he bought on any device he has, be it an iPod, a Zune, or a computer. And a user should also be legally and technically able to transfer this content to other media, for instance from one computer to another, or one device to another.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. A lot of media formats use DRM of some sort, and it’s usually difficult to play files using different equipment or software. Some media formats are also locked to the players they are downloaded onto.

Is DRM bad? We believe so, because they hinder legal users from fair use of content. If the RIAA, MPAA and other organizations want their cut of the financial pie, then they should look into alternative revenue and distribution models.