What would be the ideal form of DRM? Besides, obviously, no DRM, copy protection that's industry-wide, so that you could snag something from one store or retailer and play it on any player, whether it be a Zune or an iPod, or even your DVD player, would be the dream of consumers. While piracy is the bane of the industry, the fact that Apple owns Fairplay and has a stranglehold on its market share is an obvious other consideration. One DRM would be helpful for the rest, though Apple probably likes things just the way the are.
Still, the industry would love to make things more open, while still keeping it closed, so to speak. And that's the aim of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).
"This is great news for consumers hungry for access to a wider array of digital content they can enjoy on any device they own. We formed this consortium to give consumers that kind of power and choice," said Mitch Singer, president of DECE LLC, on behalf of its members. "To open up the market for digital distribution, we are developing a specification that connects a wide variety of services and devices. DECE LLC is taking the lessons learned from the successful "buy once, play anywhere" experience that we enjoy with CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray today, and using a similar approach in developing the next generation digital media experience."
Over time, DECE LLC will issue a licensable specification, along with a recognizable brand and logo for compliant products and services that will assure consumers that content they download will play on their devices. The specification, based on industry standards, will outline the hardware and software requirements for companies to follow as they define new consumer experiences.
Want more detail? You'll have to wait until CES 2009. At that point, DECE will unveil a brand, a logo, and more companies (they will also highlight additional companies during the intervening time).
Notably missing: that company that we said probably likes things just the way they are: Apple, and BFF Disney. Still, there are months in which DECE can get those two on-board --- or not.
More to come.