Sep 16, 2008

DECE - The future of DRM?

“The nicest thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.” - Andres S. Tannenbaum (Also seen attributed to Ken Olsen)

I love that quote. It is funny. It is funny because it is true.

In a digital media landscape littered with incompatible standards and casualties from the format wars, a host of technology and media powerhouses are joining hands to bring a consumer friendly version of DRM for content. In other words, a standard for DRM.

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), which is backed by the likes of Cisco, Fox, HP, Intel, Microsoft, NBC Univeral, Paramount Pictures, Philips, Sony and Toshiba, among others, will offer customers the "buy once, play anywhere" freedom that has been taken away by conventional DRM. Simply put, the standard will enable content bought from consortium members to play on DECE hardware/codec. Not so much DRM-free as having no DRM at all, but a step forward, nevertheless.

Will DECE succeed in convincing consumers who are sceptical about DRM and how it restricts their usage of content they had paid for? Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, a technology columnist at ZDNet, says it beautifully with the title of his blog post - DECE : Lipstick on the DRM pig.

Read the Reuters story - Studios form digital-download ecosystem

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