DECE milestones for open digital market

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, the coalition with support from every sector of digital entertainment, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show it has reached key milestones toward establishing the first open market for digital content distribution. In addition, DECE announced that 21 companies have joined the group which now includes 48 members across entertainment, software, hardware, retail, infrastructure and delivery.

The milestones include:

∑ Agreement on a Common File Format, an open specification for digital entertainment, that will be used by all participating content providers, services and device manufacturers

∑ Vendor selection for and role of the Digital Rights Locker, a cloud-based authentication service and account management hub that allows consumers rights access to their digital entertainment

∑ Approval of five Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions that will be DECE-compatible

Full technical specifications will be available in the first half of 2010.

DECE has agreed on a Common File Format, an industry first in digital distribution. An open specification for digital entertainment, like DVD or Blu-ray, the Common File Format may be licensed by any company to create a DECE consumer offering.

DECE has selected Neustar as the vendor for the Digital Rights Locker, a cloud-based authentication service and account management hub that allows consumers rights access to their digital entertainment. It will authenticate rights to view content from multiple services, with multiple devices as well as manage content and registration of devices in consumer accounts. DECE will provide an open Application Programming Interface (API) that allows any Web-enabled storefront, service or device to integrate access to the Digital Rights Locker into its own consumer offering.

DECE has approved five DRMs that will be compatible with the Common File Format – Adobe Flash Access, CMLA-OMA V2, The Marlin DRM Open Standard, Microsoft PlayReady and Widvine. Compatibility with multiple DRMs will ensure that content can be played back via streaming or download on a wide variety of services and devices.

In 2009, 21 companies joined DECE, including: Adobe, Ascent Media Group, Cable Labs, Catch Media, Cox Communications, DivX, DTS, Extend Media, Irdeto, Liberty Global, Motorola, Nagravision, Netflix, Neustar, Nokia, Rovi, Secure Path, SwitchNAP, Tesco, Thomson and Zoran.

“The digital entertainment marketplace is on the cusp of a new era of rapid growth,” said Mitch Singer, President of DECE. “The key to unlocking this potential is giving consumers the ‘Buy Once, Play Anywhere' experience they want. That's the goal of DECE and one we're making rapid progress toward today.”

However, not everyone is on board, Disney is advocating a similar plan called KeyChest, which analysts say it may introduce working with Apple. A Disney spokesman said the company would give an early look at the rival technology at CES.

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