Digital Rights Management (DRM), the coding that aims to prevent digital recordings from being copied, may actually encourage piracy rather than prevent it, according to a joint study by Rice and Duke universities. While the study primarily focused on the impact of DRM on sales of recorded music, much of its findings also pertain to digital sales of movies and TV shows as well. Marketing professors Dinah Vernik of Rice and Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke concluded that while DRM does make piracy more difficult, it also places restrictions on consumers who have no intention of doing anything illegal -- like making backup copies. Since DRM-protected products are only purchased by legal users, only they "pay the price and suffer from the restrictions," the study said. "Illegal users are not affected because the pirated product does not have DRM restrictions." Said Vernik "Because of these inconveniences, some consumers choose to pirate." Remove the restrictions and they don't, the study concluded.
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