MPEG LA cuts mobile phone DRM tax

But far enough?

In the face of strong protest from GSM operators and handset manufacturers, IP rights holders have cut their proposed rates for mobile DRM.

The MPEG Licensing Authority (LA) says that it will cut the rate payable per handset to 65 cents (from $1) and to 25 cents per subscriber per year, payable after the first year. Previously, the MPEG LA wanted one per cent of transactions.

The MPEG LA is a collection pool representing DRM patent holders including ContentGuard, Intertrust, Matsushita, Philips and Sony.

The GSM Association balked at what it considered excessively high fees, describing them as "impractical, excessive and short-sighted". It remains to be seen whether the carriers and manufacturers will be mollified.

If they reject the MPEG LA's submission to the OMA group, carriers are likely to find their own cheaper DRM, leading to the kind of fragmentation plaguing the PC locked-music download market. ®

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