In one corner is Apple, it goes on, the largest music retailer in the United States.
“And in the other is DECE, a US consortium of entertainment, retail and IT companies that want to set new standards to transform how consumers buy, access and play digital content.”
“This is setting up to be a war between DECE and Apple,” the story has MG Siegler of online news site VentureBeat.com stating.
“It seems DECE is working on a kind of new generation of DRM (Digital Rights Management or copy protection) so that they will still be able to be in control of the content of their members,” he says, predicting, “this will result in a stand off with Apple, which is not a member of DECE.”
“Without Apple’s participation in DECE, you can be sure that its devices will not play content made by the consortium. It will surely work the other way around also with none of the DECE content being able to be played on Apple devices.”
You, of course, are incidental to it all.
And then along came John
In September last year, “Is Apple`s iTunes the be-all and end-all when it comes to corporate online digital distribution?” – p2pnet asked rhetorically, going on »»»
The application has captured the minds of the great executive unwashed in a way no other technology has. They believe Apple Rulz. And that must be true because Apple says so.
What to do? What to do?
And then along came John, smooth talking John, in the shape of Mitch Singer, Sony Pictures CTO, with something better than free.
He`s succeeded in persuading Warner Bros Entertainment, Fox Entertainment Group, NBC Universal, Sony, Paramount Pictures and Comcast Corp, retailer Best Buy, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Philips, Toshiba and Verisign but not, obviously, Walt Disney, into signing up for his Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).
He`s told them he can, actually develop and deliver a product to the consumer that`s better than free, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Like whiter than white? Or wetter than water?
Nope. It`s all about ..
But hang on a minute.
According to the story, Singer said he`s been developing DECE inside Sony Pictures for the past six years, constantly changing the formulation to meet the latest technologies.
Outreach to other companies started in 2006. But by then, wasn`t Sony in all kinds of serious (and ongoing) trouble with its rootkit DRM efforts? You know, when it when it planted dangerous-to-computers spyware on music CDs without bothering to tell the people who bought them?
It was. But now, under the principle there`s more than one-way to skin a consumer, it`s decided to organise what he describes as what may be the, most radical redefinition yet of Digital Restrictions Management, in corporate parlance, Digital Rights Management.
Had it already been redfined somewhere by someone?
In its current form, DRM largely confines content to a limited number of devices depending on the source of that content, explains the story, going on, For instance, a song purchased on Apple`s iTunes can be accessed on no more than five different computers and can`t be legally played on a portable device beyond the iPod.
And then along came John, smooth talking John, and, If DECE takes hold, it would institute several precedent-setting principles, to wit:
- Participating devices and services would be interoperable regardless of differing brands or corporate provenance and a TV episode could, for instance, be just as easily accessed on Microsoft`s Zune as it would a Philips broadband-enabled TV set.
Wow! What a concept!
- DECE would allow an, unlimited number of copies of a video to be created or burned onto a disc.
The mind boggles!
- Consumers, would even have the option of not storing the copy at all, but rather streaming it from a server-based `rights locker` that can be tapped from any location.
A rights locker? Absolutely amazing!
- DECE would create open standards whereby any company that chose to create contents or services can do so to available specifications.
Available specifications, eh? Corporate DRM for corporations, in other words. Nice one, Mitch.
CBS Corp, Amazon, Walmart, AT&T and Verizon haven`t joined up yet â- but that doesn`t mean they`re, necessarily opposed to DECE, according to Singer, says the Hollywood report, which has him saying:
If I had to characterize it, it`s more of a wait-and-see mode than something they don`t want to be involved in.
DECE represents yet another ambitious attempt by Hollywood to avoid the fate of the music industry, which has largely dropped DRM altogether, the story says, adding:
The consortium aims to give digital distribution a shot in the arm. For all the success of iTunes, XBox and Amazon, their collective sales haven`t matched the growth curve experienced by DVD.
DECE plans to announce a brand name and logo, as well as a more detailed plan, at the upcoming Consumers Electronics Show in January.
There`s more than one sucker born every minute.
Five or six billion dollar business
The likes of Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, Microsoft, Best Buy, HP, Cisco, and Intel have signed up with Sony’s DECE, says the Beebm, quoting Sony Pictures’ Mitch Singer, as saying, “All of the companies in this consortium realise if we can do this and do this right we have the potential for a very large market” with a “starting value” of “five or six billion dollar business” at the “very very early stage of this global digital marketplace”.
But it takes Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group to put it where it’s really at, for the first time bringing in the peopleupon whom it all depends.
“Consumers don’t like DRM,” the story has him saying.
“They want to be able to play their movies on their computer, ipod, or whatever device they’ve bought, and DRM gets in the way. If movie sellers make it difficult for consumers to play their movies, then they will sell less films.”
Period, Full stop. And end of story.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. It`s really easy!
Subscribe to p2pnet.net | | rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/p2p.rss | | Mobile – http://p2pnet.net/index-wml.php
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.