Sunday, January 18, 2009

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem or DRM to You and Me

Who would you place your bet on, Apple, the largest music retailer, or DECE, a US consortium of entertainment, retail and IT companies that want to establish a new in which consumers buy, access and play digital content. DECE is creating a ‘new generation of DRM.

Although Apple have announced that they are dropping DRM on music the restrictions still apply to films. Apple, who aren’t members of DECE can in effect ignore any new DRM from DECE and make it impossible to play them on any Apple devices such as iPods, IPhones and be sold through iTunes.

DECE (Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem) has some 25 members including Sony, Paramount Pictures, Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Samsung, Panasonic and Intel. DECE's ecosystem for digital entertainment is planned to cover movies, books, TV programmes and games. Whether Apple joins or stays outside the delivery of yet another DRM solution is immaterial as its ultimately only going to impact one player – the consumer.

DECE believes consumers should be able to buy from multiple stores and access the content anywhere on any device, which sounds good but if they can do that why do they need DRM? DRM was created not to enable right to be exercised but to restrict and control their potential abuse. It would be great if DECE were to create a different rights model that mirrored the physical world and enabled sharing and was born out of trust and not distrust. However it's probably not in their genes to think that way.

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