Digital locker

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A digital locker or cyberlocker is an online file or digital media storage service. Files stored include music, videos, movies, games and other media.[1][2] The term was used by Microsoft as a part of its Windows Marketplace in 2004.[2] By storing files in a digital locker, users are able to access them anywhere they can find internet connections. Most (but not all) digital locker services require a user to register. Prices range from free to paid, and various combinations thereof.


Digital lockers, as opposed to simple file storage services, are typically associated with Digital distribution — a commercial store where you can buy content such as Steam, Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes.

Download / Play / Watch

Digital locker services often come with integrated client software that allow users to play the movies or games or songs.[3]


Many digital locker services enable users to upload their own content or provide 'sync' management software that will scan a user's computer and upload the appropriate media for them.[4]


Some services like Google Play and iTunes will match songs users have to a digital signature, allowing them to skip the sometimes slow process of uploading the media file. Rather, once the song is matched, it will just be added to a user's library.[5][6]

Digital Rights Management[edit]

Digital lockers are often used as a way of controlling access to media via Digital Rights Management. Services such as Steam, Origin, Blizzard, Vudu, and others offer to users the convenience of a digital locker in exchange for the control of DRM.[7]

Copyright Infringement[edit]

Some digital locker services such as Hotfile and MegaUpload have been accused of being large contributors towards copyright infringement.[8] The MPAA alleged that Hotfile and similar services promote copyright infringement by paying users referral fees, and thus encouraging them to upload popular copyrighted content.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "digital locker". Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "What Is a Digital Locker?". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  3. ^ "10 obscure Steam features that can power up your PC gaming". PC world. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  4. ^ Ingraham, Nathan. "Google Play Music finally lets you upload songs through the browser". The Verge. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Is iTunes Match right for you?". Macworld. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  6. ^ Evangelho, Jason. "Google Play Adds Free Music Matching Feature, 320k Cloud Streaming". Forbes. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  7. ^ Lawler, Richard. "DECE's 'digital locker' take-anywhere DRM dubbed UltraViolet, launches later this year". engadget. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Hotfile's digital locker service targeted by Hollywood". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  9. ^ Davis, Wendy. "MPAA Argues Hotfile Liable For Users' Copyright Infringement". MediaPost. Retrieved 29 August 2014.