Feeds

Thomson takes 33% stake in MS-backed DRM developer

Vodafone selects Open Mobile Alliance's alternative

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

France's Thomson has taken 33 per cent a stake in ContentGuard, the 'universal' digital rights management technology provider backed by Microsoft and Time Warner.

The deal will see Thomson licensing ContentGuard's DRM system for usage throughout the world. ContentGuard's technology, Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML), is an XML-derived scheme for content protection that its developer is pitching as a possible basis for a standard DRM system.

It's that emphasis on universality that worried the European Commission when Microsoft and Time Warner acquired ContentGuard from its founder, Xerox, last April. The EC formally objected to the ContentGuard acquisition earlier this month having begun an investigation into it in August.

With Microsoft already in contention with the EC over alleged anti-competitive behaviour - though the two cases are not directly connected - a move to reduce its 50 per cent stake in ContentGuard could well be offered as an olive branch to the Commission. The Thomson deal allows the European company to name two ContentGuard board members.

ContentGuard's technology has already been adopted by Microsoft as a component of its own DRM system. Sony is the company's other key signing - the Japanese giant licensed ContentGuard's technology in December 2002.

In separate news, Vodafone said it had licensed developer CoreMedia's DRM technology to protected content delivered across its Vodafone Live! 3G service, which launched earlier this month.

CoreMedia's DRM system follows the framework laid down by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), a consortium of mobile phone manufacturers and networks seeking to define standard technology specifications geared toward interoperability. Like ContentGuard, the OMA views its DRM system as a potential 'universal' DRM technology. Vodafone's implementation of the OMA's DRM spec. is said to be the biggest roll-out of the technology to date.

The OMA unveiled version 2.0 of its DRM spec. in February this year. ®

Related stories

EC objects to MS - Time Warner ContentGuard takeover
EC launches Microsoft DRM probe
EC mulls MS DRM monopoly trawl
Time Warner invests in ContentGuard
Digital music download coin-op to offer 'all formats, all DRMs'
EMI looks to digital as download sales quadruple
France rules Apple's DRM denial not anti-competition
Vodafone 3G is go
Universal mobile phone DRM tech ready for prime time

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.