Monday, September 15, 2008

Common download standards?

The FT reports the news that a consortium of media and technology companies is planning a common set of downloading standards. The objective is to remove consumer digital rights management (DRM) confusion, inconsistency and user frustrations and make it easy to download with a single uniform experience whether its movies, music, whatever. It will make it easier for consumers to understand what they were buying and also allow them consumers to access paid for content, via a "rights locker", that will enable users to share content to enabled devices. Devices and web sites compatible with the set of agreed standards will bear a new logo.

The new body, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), has the likes of; Sony, Microsoft, Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Entertainment, Alcatel-Lucent, HP, Cisco, Intel and Toshiba, Fox Entertainment Group, Lionsgate and Verisign, the internet security group, inside as members and Apple, the biggest seller of online music and video content and Walt Disney, still outside and not signed up.

The book industry needs to ensure that its fully plugged into this development and not sit outside and merely watch. Today’s ebook experiences are inconsistent and ebook DRM often involves non friendly activities and restrictions that need to be addressed. The question who will stand up and will they represent, the device manufacturer, the service provider, the DRM owner, the publisher, the retailer or the consumer.

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