updated 04:15 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2008
Studios back Sony DRM
A Tuesday report has the majority of the big movie studios and distributors supporting a plan put forth by Sony Pictures that would decrease the restrictions Digital Rights Management (DRM) imposes on users' ability to enjoy their purchased videos and movies. Last year, Sony Pictures proposed a set of policies and software and service framework it called Open Market that would allow larger flexibility of DRM content and let customers enjoy content on various devices they must first register.
As Sony Pictures presents it, the tentatively named Open Market will involve a neutral third party that will manage device registrations such as TVs, PCs and portable devices, which will then allows users to play their movie rentals or purchases on all their registered devices. The so-called domain provider will let consumers purchase devices freely without having to worry to whose content they will be restricted, while still protecting the content with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protection.
The initiative is expected to put a hold or slow down the sales of non-DRM movies, and is supported by retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon and CinemaNow, among others. Apple, and its popular iTunes franchise, are not on that list, instead offering works from Disney studios, including Pixar, Miramax and Touchstone siding with Apple for distribution of their products.
The movie studios - so far consisting of Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Time Warner - are expected to make an announcement in September confirming their support of the tentatively named Open Market scheme, with Walt Disney and related studios not making the commitment to the new proposal. [via Techcrunch]