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NGSM would copy-protect movies stored on flash, Android

updated 01:35 pm EST, Mon December 19, 2011

Next Generation Secure Memory standard detailed

A coalition of companies have proposed the Next Generation Secure Memory standard to lock down movies and other content stored on flash memory. Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony, and Toshiba are working on a system that would put unique IDs on embedded and removable storage like SD cards and encrypt content based on public keys. The move would let studios offer movies on a non-disc physical format but theoretically keep it from being freely copied without relying on protection in the file itself.

The move would not only allow offering 'HD-capable' movies directly on cards but would theoretically improve the comfort level of studios jittery about allowing downloads of their content. Android smartphones and tablets could get downloaded TV shows and digital copies from Blu-ray movies that they could load on to an SD card but not necessarily shuffle over elsewhere.

Having just made an "agreement in principle" for NGSM, the alliance doesn't have a timetable for when it might finish the standard or get it into products.

The attempt to lock down SD for copyrighted material comes at a time when calls are growing louder for looser protection and when streaming video sometimes makes it irrelevant. Comedian Louis CK recently made disproportionately high profits based on an unprotected version of a self-produced special. Netflix, YouTube Movies, and other services also work for subscriptions and rentals on Android for anyone with an active high-speed connection.

Apple is notably absent from NGSM and is unlikely to support it. Apart from not making devices other than Macs with SD card slots, it has usually taken an all-or-nothing approach to copyright, either preferring a self-developed standard or no protection at all. The late Steve Jobs contended that pseudo-universal DRM formats are often slow to adapt to exploits and make the firms using it beholden to others that might have conflicting interests. [via Engadget]

By Electronista Staff


  1. ricardogf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003



    Every single day these idiots form a new coalition to "protect" content against copying...give it up, morons: private copying has always been legal in most parts of the world, and this won't change anytime soon.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999



    Why do these people think inconveniencing their legitimate paying customers will stop those who will get around the protection anyway? It only takes one crook to defeat the protection, and it will happen. So what do they think DRM is doing for them?

  1. slboett

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: May 1999


    It's sad...

    On the one hand, people did in fact used to share. We shared as kids. But maybe you'd share a song/tape with a couple friends. Now, someone shares, and the potential is unlimited for those grabbing files. I think legit customers are getting hosed. I'm sure the sharing we did as kids ended up selling lots of music. But it's not all the studio's and recording industry's fault. If people weren't a-holes in sharing, we'd likely (hopefully) see this c*** stopped. As it is, I pay a lot for the convenience of having no convenience.

  1. OS2Guy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2006


    Nice try...

    If it can be broadcast (i.e., displayed on a desktop) it can be copied. Pretty simple. The ONLY way the movie/music industry is going to protect their products, and this is only on a limited basis, they will have to password protect each product as it comes off the assembly line. Of course, that would mean the buyer would have to prove ownership to the password to play the item and buyers are simply not going to do that. Yes, one buyer will buy the password and then digitally copy the content and pass it around just as we did with VHS tapes.

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