As Sony Pictures presents it, the tentatively named Open Market will involve a neutral third party that will manage device registrations such as TVs, PCs and portable devices, which will then allow users to play their movie rentals or purchases on all their registered devices. The so-called domain provider will let consumers purchase devices freely without having to worry to whose content they will be restricted, while still protecting the content with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protection.
The initiative is expected to put a hold or slow down the sales of non-DRM movies, and is supported by retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon and CinemaNow, among others. Apple, and its popular iTunes franchise, are not on that list, instead offering works from Disney studios, including Pixar, Miramax and Touchstone siding with Apple for distribution of their products.
The movie studios â€“ so far consisting of Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Time Warner â€“ are expected to make an announcement in September confirming their support of Open Market scheme.