DRM, which stands for digital rights management, is a technology used
by content providers, such as online stores, to control how the digital
media files you obtain from them are used and distributed. A file that
is protected with DRM requires media usage rights to be delivered with
the file. The media usage rights define how the protected file can be
used. For example, a right may give you the permission to play the file
on your computer (a play right), burn the file to an audio CD (a burn
right), or sync the file to a portable device (a sync right). Each
right can have certain qualities, such as the following:
The right to play a file on your computer an unlimited number of times
The right to sync a file to two portable devices five times per month
The right to burn a file to an audio CD twice
second kind of protected file is one that was created when copy
protection was turned on when you ripped music from an audio CD.
To determine whether a file is protected, do one of the following:
Display the Protected column in the library. For information about displaying columns in the library, see Windows Media Player Help.
Right-click a file you are playing in the List pane, click Properties, and then click the Media Usage Rights tab (called the License
tab in Windows Media Player 10). If the file is protected, the terms
appear in the box that is displayed. If nothing appears in the box,
either the file is not protected or the file is protected but the
rights are not present on your computer. If nothing appears in the box,
it might be due to one of the following reasons:
The file is not protected.
Your computer is missing the media usage rights for the file.
The media usage rights for the file have expired.
file has not been downloaded to your computer. For example, the file
might be subscription content that is stored on an online store's Web
Create an auto playlist of protected files in your library. To do so, use the criteria Protection is present in the auto playlist. (An auto playlist called Music tracks with content protection
is included with Windows Media Player 10 that you can view to identify
protected music files in your library. For information about viewing
the auto playlist, see Windows Media Player Help.)
There might be a problem with the media usage rights for the files. To
help identify the problem, try playing a protected file and then
clicking the error icon next to the file (Windows Media Player 11) or
right-clicking the file and then clicking Error Details
(Windows Media Player 10). Typically, a message will be displayed that
gives information and instructions for resolving the problem.
you are using Windows Media Player 10 and you have backed up your
licenses, you can try to restore them. (It is not possible to back up
and restore licenses in Windows Media Player 11.) For information about
backing up and restoring licenses in Windows Media Player 10, see
Windows Media Player 10 Help.
DRM system on your computer is corrupted. This problem may occur if you
have replaced hardware components in your computer. As a result,
existing media usage rights on your computer may not work correctly, or
it may be impossible to download new rights. To resolve this problem,
you can reset the DRM system on your computer and then try to obtain
new rights for your protected files from the content provider. The
procedure for doing so varies, depending on the version of the Player
you are running.
This will delete all media usage rights and you will not be able to
play any protected files until the new media usage rights are
downloaded. Microsoft Recorded TV Shows (DVR-MS files), however, will
be deleted and cannot be replaced.
Verify that Windows is configured to show hidden files and protected operating system files.
If your computer is running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, you
should also stop the Media Center receiver service by typing net stop ehrecvr at a command prompt.
Open the Windows Media DRM folder. This folder is usually at C:\public\DRM.
If you cannot find the DRM folder, do the following:
In Windows, click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open text box, type regedit, and then click OK.
In Registry Editor, click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\DRM.
Double-click the DataPath value. The path to the DRM folder is displayed in the right column.
In the Windows Media DRM folder, select and delete all of the files, and then restart the computer.
download new media usage rights for a file, start the Player and play
the file. The Player will contact the online store and attempt to
download new rights.
If you want to download rights for a lot of
files, you can also contact your online store to find out if the store
provides the ability to restore or renew rights for all files that you
have obtained from the store.
For information about resetting DRM for Windows Media Player 10, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, see article 810422,
"'Licenses for your media files are corrupted' or 'License is either
corrupted or not valid' error message when you try to play licensed
This typically occurs when you are trying to play, burn, or sync a
protected file and the content provider, such as an online store,
requires you to install the latest version of the Player before you can
use the file. To download the latest version of the Player, click the
link provided by the content provider or see Windows Media Download Center.
that even if you have Windows Media Player 10 installed on your
computer, you still might not have the most recent version of the
Player available. Microsoft periodically posts newer versions of the
Player (including newer versions of Windows Media Player 10) to the
Windows Media Web site. When Microsoft makes relatively minor
improvements to the Player, the digits at the end of the version number
are incremented (for example, version 10.00.00.xxxx could be replaced
with a more recent version such as 10.00.00.yyyy).
If you get the message "The date certificate is invalid or has expired"
when upgrading the security components of the Player, try reinstalling
the latest version of Internet Explorer. To do so, see Internet Explorer.
are several reasons why you might not be able to download media usage
rights from an online store, including the following:
You aren't connected to the Internet. Connect to the Internet and then try again.
There is a temporary problem with the store's server (it might be busy or it might not be online). Try again later.
had a subscription account with an online store, but you cancelled the
subscription. Contact the online store about reinstating your
subscription account or purchasing the file.
rights prohibit the action you are trying to perform. For example, the
online store might grant you the right to burn a song to a CD five
times, but you have exceeded the limit. Or the online store might not
permit you to sync the file to a portable device. For more information,
contact your online store.
online store doesn't have your current billing information, such as
your credit card number or expiration date. Go to the online store's
Web site and try updating your billing information.
online store requires you to log in, but you haven't entered a valid
user name or password. Contact your online store for further assistance.
online store requires that you install a more recent version of the
Player or some security components and you have opted not to install
the software. When prompted to install the software, do so.
online store requires that you install a more recent version of the
Player or some security components but the software is not yet
available for your version of Windows. Either upgrade to the required
version of Windows or wait until the software is available for your
version of Windows.
problem may occur when you back up your licenses using Windows Media
Player 10, and then roll back to an earlier version of the Player
before restoring the licenses. To restore licenses backed up in Windows
Media Player 10 while using earlier versions of the Player, do the
The file you are trying to play was copy-protected when ripped from an
audio CD, which limits the number of computers on which the file can be
played. To play the file on your computer, you must download the media
usage rights (also called a license). This process is known as
migration. To do so, click Download License on the Web page, or see Windows Media Personal License. There are several reasons why you might not have rights for the ripped file:
ripped the CD on one computer and you are trying to play the file on
another computer. You need to download new media usage rights because
the original rights are only valid for the computer on which the CD was
ripped the CD on the computer that you are currently using, but the
media usage rights have been deleted. This typically occurs when you
reformat your hard disk drive (such as when you perform a clean
installation of Windows), but it can occur in other circumstances as
You obtained the file from someone else who ripped the CD.
migration service can only be used 10 times to download new media usage
rights for a file that was ripped from a CD on a particular computer.
You might encounter this message for the following reasons:
You copied the ripped file to 10 computers and then used the migration service to download new rights to each computer.
deleted the rights on your computer 10 times (for example, by
reformatting your hard disk drive prior to performing a clean
installation of Windows), and you used the migration service 10 times
to download new rights.
You shared the ripped file with 10 friends and each friend used the migration service to download rights.
are trying to play a file that someone else ripped and one or more
people have already used the migration service 10 times to play the
isn't possible to remove protection from files you have already ripped,
but you can prevent files from being protected the next time you rip
music from a CD. In addition, you can replace the existing protected
files by ripping the CD again.
On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Rip music tab.
Clear the Copy protect music check box.
Files that you rip in the future will not be copy-protected.
If you don't delete the files from both locations before ripping the tracks again, duplicate files will appear in your library.
Click the Library tab, right-click the files that you are having problems with, and then click Delete. If prompted, choose to delete the files from both your library and computer.
Rip the tracks from the CD again.
in mind that whenever you rip music that you did not create, it may be
copyrighted and, therefore, protected by U.S. and international laws.
Ownership of a CD does not necessarily constitute the right to
redistribute or share the content. If you intend to redistribute or
share content, be sure you have the necessary permissions to do so.
Submit a question to the Windows Media Player newsgroup.
Please note that the newsgroup is maintained by a community of
knowledgeable users offering peer-to-peer assistance. It is not an
official Microsoft technical support resource. As such, Microsoft
cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. When you ask a
question on the newsgroup, be as specific as possible. For example, be
sure to include the following basic information:
Windows Media Player version. (On the Help menu, click About Windows Media Player.) For example, the version might be 10.00.00.xxxx.
Windows operating system version. (Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.) In your question, include the full version name (for example, Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2).
The task that you were trying to accomplish prior to encountering the problem.
an error message is displayed, note the error message text. (For
example, it might say "Windows Media Player has encountered an unknown
If an error message is displayed, note the error message ID number (for
example, "C00D11CD"). You can determine the ID number by clicking the Web Help or More Information button when the error message is displayed.
If the problem only occurs when you use a particular file, Web link, or URL, provide details about that item.