Removing DRM Protection: Is It Legal?

DRM (stands for Digital Rights Management) is not a single technology, but rather a class of technologies used by publishers for the purpose of controlling digital content. For the end user, this may look like this: an audio book purchased at some online store can be perfectly playable on the computer that was used for the purchase. However, if copied to a different computer or device, it becomes unplayable.

Real applications of DRM technologies may be much more sophisticated. Initially DRM was used to prevent copying of digital content, but the next generation of DRM offered tools that could restrict viewing, printing, editing, etc.

While trying to protect interests of copyright owners, DRM caused much frustration among people who actually purchased digital content. Inability to use purchased music on various personal devices was something that customers could not accept. Eventually publishers started to realize that selling digital music without DRM protection produced fewer problems and resulted in better sales.

There is some legal backing behind DRM technologies. For example, in many countries, laws explicitly prohibit circumventing copy protection.

Capturing sound with MP3 Recorder Studio

However, there is a problem about DRM, as it prevents customers from doing completely legal things. Like creating a backup copy of some purchased media.

Without going deep into legislation and possible application of these or those laws, one can suggest that the following strategy would be perfectly legal in most countries (Australia could be noted as an exception here). You can create several copies of the purchased content for backup purposes (for personal use, not for sale). Please take into account that creating more than 10 copies may be considered a commercial use, so this should be avoided. There are no strict rules on how exactly you create copies, so technically you can drop DRM somewhere in the process and get DRM-free copies. However, using a program that is designed with the sole purpose of removing DRM may be somewhat dangerous in the context of laws.

Luckily, DRM can also be removed with general purpose sound recorder programs, like MP3 Recorder Studio. You start playing a purchased DRM-protected audio file using the corresponding program (iTunes, Windows Media Player, or another) and use MP3 Recorder Studio to capture the output, saving it directly as MP3. This requires using the built-in capability of sound cards to capture sound internally. Most sound cards offer a recording device called "Stereo Mix" (there are several variants of the name), this device allows capturing everything the sound card is reproducing. You may need to download and install the latest driver software from the official site of your sound card's manufacturer instead of using drivers installed by Windows automatically in order to enable this device.

You can find out some further information about recording protected audio with MP3 Recorder Studio in this article.

Tags: MP3 Recorder Studio

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