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Xbox 360 Digital Rights Management

What is DRM?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is used by content providers, such as Xbox Live, to control how digital game and video files are used and distributed. Xbox Live sells and rents DRM-protected videos, games and add-in content that are covered by media usage rights that allow specific uses of that content.

When you purchase content, you receive a licence to use 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.

Transfer content licences

You can transfer content licences from one console to another 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:

  1. On your console, sign in to Xbox Live using the gamertag that you used to purchase the content.

  2. Go to the Settings and then select Account.

  3. Go to Your Billing Options, and then select Licence Transfer.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to transfer the content licences.

After the licences have been transferred, you need to download the content again to update the local licences. This way the content can be used by other profiles on your console and when you’re not connected to Xbox Live.

For information about how to download previously purchased content, please see Buy and redownload content from Xbox Live.

What is protected content?

Protected content is any game, video or add-in that uses DRM protection. To play a protected game, video or add-in, you must have the media usage rights for that content.

Examples of protected content

  • Games

  • TV programmes

  • Films

  • Music videos

  • Game add-in content

What is a licence?

A licence is another name for media usage rights.

How does the Xbox 360 console use media usage rights?

When you try to use a protected game, video or add-in, the Xbox 360 console checks whether you have a valid licence for that piece of content. If the media usage rights allow you to use the content, the Xbox 360 console plays the content or allows use of the add-in.

If the Xbox 360 console does not find valid media usage rights for the content or if the rights do not let you perform the action, your Xbox 360 console does not perform the action. Typically, you receive an error message that states why the action is not performed.

How do I obtain licences for content?

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 reacquire a licence. This process refreshes existing licences and does not transfer licences to a new console, unless the licence transfer tool was used first.

What is a 'roaming' Xbox 360 console?

The term 'roaming' refers to using content that you purchased on one Xbox 360 console on another Xbox 360 console. For example, you may download a game from the Xbox Live Games Store to your Xbox 360 console. You may then take the hard drive that contains that game and attach the drive to another console. When you attach the hard drive and sign in to Xbox Live, you can play the game without any restrictions.

Note For such roaming to be allowed, you must be connected to Xbox Live by using the profile that purchased the content so that the usage rights can be verified.

Why can’t I view, play or use previously downloaded content?

Follow the troubleshooting steps on this page: Can’t play downloaded Xbox Live content.

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