What Features Should I Look for in DRM Software?
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to DRM software. However, there are several overriding features that should guide your selection of DRM software, such as the following:
Encryption and Content Protection
The best DRM software provides you with strong content protection and this starts with encryption. For enterprise-grade quality, AES 256-bit encryption is the favored industry standard, which is also adopted by government agencies. In addition to the type of encryption algorithm used, the encryption key length is also an important factor in creating military-grade DRM security.
Other questions to pose regarding encryption are:
- Is it disk-level or file-level encryption that’s being applied?
- Where does the DRM software encrypt your documents (on the desktop, on-premises, or on the cloud?), and what is the fate of raw unencrypted files?
- Are documents encrypted in advance or “on-the-fly”?
Another factor to consider in DRM protection is the use of watermarks. Although watermarks aren’t always restrictive enough because they can be circumvented, they’re still a vital feature in deterring copyright infringement.
The best watermark features use dynamic watermarking to incorporate identifying information like the legitimate user’s ID, name, company, and so on.
User Access Control
User access control gives content owners the ability to control and determine the level of access users have to their products.
The more granular UAC a DRM software provides, the more opportunity it gives content owners for monetization through multitiered pricing models. As a content owner, this offers you more flexibility to devise different revenue-generating content for different audiences, with diverse membership plans and multilayered subscriptions.
A comprehensive access rights management for a DRM software should encompass the following restrictions and limits:
- Start date – the initial date a user can view a document or access the content.
- Expiration limits – A specific date or duration of days after which access to content will expire.
- Open limits – the maximum number of times a user can open or view content.
- Print limits – the maximum number of times a user can print a document.
- Geographic limits – This uses a variation or combination of country, region, state, IP address, or range of IP addresses to restrict access to copyrighted content.
There isn’t any standard DRM architecture. However, you should look for the presence of DRM techniques that provide you with a wide breadth of strategies to protect your copyright.
Some of these include restrictive or copyleft licensing. Restrictive licensing allows people to change or modify the licensed code, in addition to distributing new works based on it. However, you must distribute this new adaptation under the original software license.
The best-known example of this is the popular GPL licensing. Any derivative work or software created under GPL is always open-source and free. This limits its use for commercial work since you have no IP rights to your own code.