In 1998, the Clinton Administration passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, which was an attempt to criminalize the circumventing of Digital Rights Management, or DRM. You see, in 1998, people still sometimes bought these curious shiny silver discs called CDs. But thanks to new sharing networks like Napster, people sometimes ripped the music off those CDs and shared them with strangers on the internet. To stop that, a few of the major record labels, led by Sony, implemented security measures that theoretically made it harder to rip those CDs. It did not make it very much harder, though, and pirates promptly began figuring out ways to get around this security.