This page answers frequently asked questions about digital rights management (DRM) and Xbox 360.
Note If you have questions about DRM and your computer, see You may be unable to play protected content after your computer hardware changes in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
Content providers such as the Xbox Store use digital rights management technology to control the usage and distribution of games and other content. This content is protected 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:
Yes, you can transfer content licences to a different Xbox 360 console. However, you can only transfer a licence once every four months.
If you purchased a new console or had your console repaired, use the licence transfer option on your new console. Here's how:
Other profiles can now use content on your console. You can also use the content when you’re not connected to Xbox Live.
Protected content is any game, video or add-in that uses DRM. You must have the content licence to play DRM-protected content.
Examples of protected content
A licence lets you use protected content. Another name for a licence is media usage rights.
Your Xbox 360 console checks whether you have a valid licence when you try to use DRM-protected content. You can't use the content if the console doesn’t find a valid licence for it, or if the licence doesn't allow the action. Typically, you'll see an error message that explains the issue.
Content licences are downloaded when you download content. You can view the download history on your Xbox 360 console and redownload that content to refresh a missing or corrupted licence.
Note You must first use the licence transfer tool. Then, use these steps to transfer licences to a new console.
Unfortunately, you can't transfer film and TV programme licences to a different console because of licensing restrictions.
The term “roaming” means using content that you purchased on one Xbox 360 console on a different Xbox 360 console. For example, you download a game from the Xbox Live Games Store to the hard drive on one console. Then, you attach that hard drive 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 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. Then, transfer your content licences to that Xbox 360 console.
After you transfer your content, other profiles can use the content on that console.
You can't transfer some items that are stored on your Xbox 360 console from one profile to another. For example, you can't transfer Xbox Live Games Store content to a different profile. If you can't move an item to a different profile, download the item using the second profile just like you did with 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 licence for content you purchase is for a single account or a single console. After you purchase and download an Xbox Live game, anyone in your household may use it. You can install and play the game on other consoles. However, only the account that purchased the game can play it. A friend can't play the game using his or her own account. To do so, your friend should purchase the game using his or her own Xbox Live account.
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?