Skip to Main Content
Technology advances in hardware, software and IP-networks such as the Internet or peer-to-peer file sharing systems are threatening the music business. The result has been an increasing amount of illegal copies available on-line as well as off-line. With the emergence of digital rights management systems (DRMS), the music industry seems to have found the appropriate tool to simultaneously fight piracy and to monetize their assets. Although these systems are very powerful and include multiple technologies to prevent piracy, it is as of yet unknown to what extent such systems are currently being used by content providers. We provide empirical analyses, results, and conclusions related to digital rights management systems and the protection of digital content in the music industry. It shows that most content providers are protecting their digital content through a variety of technologies such as passwords or encryption. However, each protection technology has its own specific goal, and not all prevent piracy. The majority of the respondents are satisfied with their current protection but want to reinforce it for the future, due to fear of increasing piracy. Surprisingly, although encryption is seen as the core DRM technology, only few companies are currently using it. Finally, half of the respondents do not believe in the success of DRMS and their ability to reduce piracy.