Nokia calls Microsoft for DRM software
Music to your ears?
Nokia is to incorporate Microsoft's DRM software into its S60 and Series 40 mobile device platforms, fueling speculation that it's about to jump onto the music downloads bandwagon. Microsoft's PlayReady content access software allows owners of digital content to transfer it between different devices in a DRM-controlled manner.
According to Nokia, this means its customers will be able to buy content directly through one of its handsets and then transfer it onto other designated devices, such as a PC.
Last week, Register Hardware reported that Nokia may be on the verge of unleashing its own downloads service, potentially targeted for an official launch on 29 August.
Although Nokia has not yet mentioned which forms of content it will offer on the two mobile device platforms, or in which file format(s), it does have quite a selection at its disposal because PlayReady supports WMA, WMV, AAC, AAC+, AMR and H.264.
Series 60 is a GUI and application layer developed by Nokia to run on the Symbian operating system, and Series 40 is a phone platform based on Nokia's propritary OS which is used on the majority of Nokia phone models.
PlayReady is also backwards-compatible with Windows Media DRM 10, which Microsoft claims will allow PlayReady devices to access existing Windows Media DRM-based content.
Re Best implementation so far
"DRM is OK, as long as it's not intrusive. (E.G. I can still do the things that I want to do with my media and the DRM lets me then it's not a problem!)"
Non-intrusive DRM is an oxymoron IMHO. DRMs mean the content "owner" retains control over what I can or cannot do with a copy of his content after he has delivered it to me. This is an intrusion in my books, however you look at it.
If there are tools to circumvent the technological restrictions that does not mean that DRMs no longer a problem because the use of such tools is being increasingly criminalised by sponsored legislation and it is inconvenient at the very least.
DRMs are the symptoms of the cancer which the IP protection systems in the West have turned into. They (the copyright and patent systems) started as benign temporary measures to stimulate more innovation and creativity and have grown into a malicious monster which is used to suppress the innovation and creativity and to facilitate market power abuse by the owners of the IP.
Just like there cannot be an OK-to-have cancer there cannot be an OK-to-have DRM system.
Defective by design
I was actually considering getting an update next month to an E70 so I could run the new version of S60 software. DRM on it's own is fine if you don't have to use it but i'm willing to bet that we'll start seeing things like ringtones must be DRM encoded as other phone models have. Looks like i'll just have to wait for that FIC Neo1973 i've been drooling over for months to hit consumer release - it'll be worth the wait to have a phone that does what it is told and isn't filled with aids.
Could be best implementation so far
Whist no DRM is better, at least it's less likely to be intrusive. Most people have Windows, and I think Nokia's are still the most popular handset sold in the UK - DRM is OK, as long as it's not intrusive. (E.G. I can still do the things that I want to do with my media and the DRM lets me then it's not a problem!)
Nokia has had DRM for a long time.
Nokia phones have had DRM for a long time. How else do you think those ring tones they advertise on tv have been protected?
But suddenly by adding support for Microsoft DRM, they become evil?
DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work
Which MS DRM? The Zune Marketplace one, or the ironically-named PlaysForSure one, which are incompatible? And as a resident "Macintard", I have to add that it shouldn't be Fairplay either, and you can bet that Apple wouldn't bother even if Symbian begged. Remember the ROKR? Neither can I. I have to agree that, in terms of DRM you can actually license, MSFT's the only real player. But it's like saying that in terms of hands to cut off, cutting off the left hand is better. The best answer is "none of the above."
Want in on a secret? DRM was never a key to iPod lock-in, because it never works. It was only there to appease the pigopolists. Because the real lock-in, the one that actually works, is user interface. They never even competed with the likes of Sony or PlaysForSure; their competition was bittorrent, kazaa, and gnutella - Offer a slight premium ($1 vs free) for added value (Time saved not downloading mislabeled tracks). That's why they put that big "burn CD/Defeat the DRM" button right in front. Lock in with a comfortable ripper/burner/mp3 player, and since iTunes works so well with iPods...
Anyways, my money is on that this is not for full-out music in as much as the much-more-highway-robbery ring tones.