Advanced Television

Open download consortium

September 16, 2008

Another consortium has been formed to encourage open download and transfer of paid media. The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), consortium brings together Warner Bros, “When we start to bundle these digital rights together, we believe we can actually develop and deliver a product to the consumer that’s better than free,” said Mitch Singer, chief technology officer at Sony Pictures and the lead architect of DECE.

All together, they are mounting a radical redefinition of digital rights management. In its current form, DRM largely confines content to a limited number of devices depending on the source of that content. DECE intends that participating devices and services will be interoperable regardless of differing makes. Also:

DECE would allow an unlimited number of copies of a video to be created or burned onto a disc.

The consumer 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.

The consortium plans to design a logo that will be placed on products and websites to let consumers know that those products and services are compatible with DECE standards.

“We will be developing a … specification that services and device makers can license. They can use the logo to associate their device, knowing that when the consumer goes to buy the content, they know it will play,” Singer said.

Singer says Apple (and associated studio Disney) would be welcome to the consortium.

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