Feeds

Thomson takes 33% stake in MS-backed DRM developer

Vodafone selects Open Mobile Alliance's alternative

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

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

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.