Digital Rights Management (DRM) are measures taken to protect digital media copyrights. DRM tries to prevent unauthorized redistribution of digital media and places restrictions on the ways consumers can copy content they’ve purchased. DRM products were developed in response to the rapid increase in online piracy of commercial material due to the widespread use of peer-to-peer file sharing programs (Pirate Bay). DRM embeds codes that prevent duplicating digital content and specifies a time period in which content can be accessed. It also limits the number of devices the media can be installed on.
Although digital content is protected by copyright laws, policing the Internet and catching law-breakers is very difficult. DRM technology focuses on making it impossible to steal content in the first place, a more efficient approach to the problem than the strategies aimed at arresting online poachers after the fact.
Source: TechTarget, Vitrium
A Timeline of File Sharing from the 70’s to today