This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Xbox 360.
Note This article discusses DRM and Xbox 360. If you have questions about DRM and your computer, see the article You may be unable to play protected content after your computer hardware changes in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
Content providers such as Xbox stores use Digital Rights Management technology to control how game and video files are used and distributed. Xbox stores sell and rent DRM-protected videos, games and add-ins that are covered by media usage rights that allow specific uses of that content.
You receive a licence to use content when you purchase that content. The licence has two parts: the system licence and the local licence. The system licence applies to the gamertag that purchases the content, and the local licence applies to the console where you first downloaded the content.
Yes, you can transfer content licences from one Xbox 360 console to a different Xbox 360 console. However, you can only transfer a licence once every four months.
If your console was recently repaired, or if you’ve purchased a new console, use the licence transfer option on your console to transfer content licences. Here's how:
After you have followed these steps, content can be used by other profiles on your console and when you’re not connected to Xbox Live.
Protected content is any game, video or add-in that is protected by Digital Rights Management. To play or use a protected game, video or add-in, you must have the licence for that content.
Examples of protected content
A licence lets you use protected content. Another name for a licence is media usage rights.
When you try to use protected content, the Xbox 360 console checks whether you have a valid licence for that content. If the licence lets you use the content, the Xbox 360 console plays the content.
If the Xbox 360 console doesn’t find a valid licence for the content, or if the licence doesn't allow the action, your Xbox 360 console won't let you use the content. Typically, you receive an error message that states why the action wasn't performed.
Licences are automatically acquired when you download content. If a licence is missing or has become corrupted, you can access the download history on your Xbox 360 console and redownload that content to refresh the licence.
Note This process doesn't transfer licences to a new console unless you first used a licence transfer tool to do that.
Unfortunately, you cannot transfer film and TV show licences from one console to another because of licensing restrictions.
The term “roaming” refers to using content that you purchased on one Xbox 360 console on a different Xbox 360 console. For example, you might download a game from the Xbox Live Games Store to the hard drive on one console. Then, you attach the hard drive that contains that game to a different console. When you attach the hard drive to the second console and sign in to Xbox Live, you can play the game without any restrictions.
Note To verify the content, you must use the profile that purchased the content to sign in to Xbox Live.
Follow the troubleshooting steps at Can’t play or use previously downloaded content on Xbox 360.
No. Content licences are stored in the Xbox 360 console rather than in the Xbox Live account.
To let someone else use the content licence, you must download your Xbox Live profile to their Xbox 360 console and then transfer your content licences to that Xbox 360 console.
After you've downloaded your Xbox Live profile and transferred your content licences to another Xbox 360 console, the content can be used by all the profiles on that console.
Some items that are stored on your Xbox 360 console can’t be transferred from one profile to another. For example, Xbox Live Games Store content can’t be transferred to a different profile. If you can't move an item to a different profile, you have to download the item using the second profile in the same way that you obtained the item using the original profile.
Note You must re-create some items in the second profile. For example, you must re-create a saved game under the second profile.
The content you purchase is licensed for a single account or a single console. If you purchase and then download a game from Xbox Live, anyone in your household may use it. You may also install and play the game on as many other consoles as you like, but only the original account that purchased the game will be able to play it. If your friend tries to play the game using his or her own account, it will not play. Your friend should purchase the game using his or her own Xbox Live account to play the game.
Thanks for your feedback!
Provide feedback for this topic
Would you like to contact Support regarding the "Xbox 360 Digital Rights Management" issue you were reading about or a different issue?