CPRM (which stands for Content Protection
for Recordable Media
) is a hardware
for controlling the copying
of digital media
, such as music
on a host device, such as a personal computer
, or other digital player
The intellectual property behind CPRM is owned by the 4C Entity, who are Intel, IBM, Matsushita and Toshiba, the group behind CSS copy control for DVDs. Patents are administered by License Management International, LLC who are involved in the court cases against the DeCCS authors.
One of the common misconceptions is that the entire storage device is protected. In fact the specifications only state that a mechanism for storing protection information must be available, away from the main storage area. If the OS does not support CPRM then the storage device will look like any normal storage device.
Originally the mechanism was aimed at removable storage, Compact Flash cards and the like, but recently moves have been made by 4C to include it into the ATA specifications for hard drives, backed by the NCTIS T.13 committee behind the ATA standard. The original inclusion called for this to be implemented in hardware. After outcry from both Microsoft, as it would make OEM and "ghosted" installs impossible, and Linux developers as it would mean even more problems getting DVDs to play under their OS, the Linux representative on the NCTIS T.13 committee, Andre Hedrick, has proposed a flag that an operating system can use to tell digital media software that the operating system does or does not support CPRM.