Microsoft announces DRM deal

April 3, 2009 | 10:00

Tags: #core #digital-restrictions-management #digital-rights-management #drm #packetvideo #playready

Companies: #microsoft

Digital rights management might be getting the blow-off from a range of major content distributors these days, but that isn't stopping companies from implementing new versions: Microsoft is the latest, with the news that its PlayReady DRM will be integrated into portable devices using PacketVideo's Core software.

According to an article over on TechRadar UK, Microsoft has announced an agreement with PacketVideo that will see the company's PlayReady DRM built in to mobile devices based around the Core multimedia application framework.

Already shipped with over 320 portable devices worldwide, PacketVideo's Core is an extremely popular way of introducing multimedia playback functionality to a low-power system – and is capable of running on platforms including Android, Linux, and Symbian. The company's agreement with Microsoft means that future products built on these platforms will have the option to support PlayReady protected content.

Microsoft's PlayReady is designed to support a variety of purchasing options for protected content, including on-demand streaming, rental, and straight buy-and-download functionality. It can also be wrapped around a range of formats, inluding AAC, AAC+, the ever-popular H.264, and Microsoft's own Windows Media Video and Windows Media Audio.

The move comes as Microsoft launches its PlayReady Service Provider Program, which gives companies the option of distributing PlayReady protected content without the need to have their own dedicated server on-site. The company hopes that the new offering will make it easier for mobile content providers to use PlayReady with their products.

However, this agreement comes at a time when DRM is getting an extremely bad press. With companies including Vodafone, Apple, and – somewhat bizarrely – Hot Topic choosing to distribute content without artificial restrictions on how that content can be used, it's questionable just how much consumer support the deal between PacketVideo and Microsoft is going to get.

Do you applaud the move to make it easier for companies to distribute protected content to mobile devices, or should both companies think long and hard about the necessities of DRM on such a platform? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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