BusinessWeek Online: Just Let Us Play the Movie


apple video ipod irobotBusinessWeek Online columnist, Stephen H. Wildstrom, calls for Cross-Platform DRM. He says, “To win public acceptance, the industries involved — content, information technology, and consumer electronics — are going to have to put maneuvering for advantage aside and stick to clear, consumer-first goals. [...] Above all, users should not have to notice the existence of the particular DRM as long as they abide by clearly stated copying limitations. Digital content should use standard DRM technology built into players such as iTunes and Windows Media Player. And any content should play on any device that can physically display it, without regard to operating system.”

Robert Weber, of Managing Rights Management, adds, after reading Stephen’s column, “In addition to consumer convenience, such interoperable systems may also put the emphasis where it’s most useful: increasing the protection of proprietary digital information of all kinds, not just music and video.”

You guys know my stand… I couldn’t agree more. I see how DRM software developers find the market of wrapping digital content in various protection schemes as lucrative, but at what cost to consumers? For some reason tech companies don’t believe in cross-platform compatibility. And worse yet, they prefer that everyone jump on to one platform or another, thus locking in the user. Of course, a step in the right direction would be as a simple as liberally licensing DRM technologies for use by third party developers and in return integrating their DRM into your systems (similar to the multi-codec compatibility we have in our audio/video players today), but will we ever see that day?





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