DRM Free

In our digital age there seems to be a recurrent trend of locking down content as different industries engage and come to terms with digital distribution. The movie and music industries are still feeling out the new world sometimes with increasing trepidation and activities from lawyers. The newest industry to get up to speed is also one of the oldest. The book publishing industry stands to greatly benefit from immediate content distribution with interactive books, instantly updated content, and incorporation of other media formats. Each industry has incorporated some form of content control and movie industries have even gone so far as to start their own distribution channels. The number of companies and multiplicity of content channels has only served to complicate what could be an otherwise unprecedented distribution capability. Each of these industries continues to develop their own methods to maintain a degree of digital rights management while they coalesce. At the same time many users are busily trying to remove any digital protection. It will be interesting to see how and where content will finally be consumed, accepted, and perhaps more importantly at what price. In the meantime, there are a few tools to untether content after purchasing through one of many channels, of course:

Requiem searches iBook libraries and removes DRM from ebooks. Originally only available for PC, it is now available for OSX. The current version works with itunes 10.5.

Handbrake is a excellent video transcoder and can handle DVDs when coupled with VLC, a video player with the libdvdcss library. Handbrake shines when it comes to video conversion for specific mobile devices and is even available as a command line interface allowing fully-scripted batch jobs.

Blu-ray content comes with its own special protection. Slysoft AnyDVD HD, ChewTune ,and MakeMKV are all PC-based.

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