Electrical Business

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Standard for DRM interoperability in the home


August 12, 2008
By Alyssa Dalton

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a new standard on digital rights permission codes for multimedia home server systems that, according to the group, paves the way for multimedia content to be used legally across different platforms.

At
present, it is not allowed without a permission for consumers to, for
example, copy a DVD, store the content on their PC and play it back on
an MP3 player. This is because DRM technologies—used for protecting
individual content—do not yet have a protocol that allows for the
exchange of permission information.




DRMs are
the access control technologies used by many content provider companies
to protect copyrighted material, prevent unauthorized duplication of
their work and limit usage of digital media or devices. The movie and
recording industry, online music stores, electronic book publishers all
use their own specific DRM technology to control access to their data.
Additional controls come from the fact that digital content downloaded
from one provider is often associated with one type of support or
device only.




To
provide consumers with this type of content usage environment—to give
them authorized access to all kinds of digital content regardless of
the support they use to store it—a method is required for describing
content permissions across different DRMs. Hence, IEC 62227 solves
these issues by helping provide digital contents rights holders and
consumers with a simplified permission code that extends across
different DRMs.




The
standard makes it possible to take complex permission information from
rights holders for a variety of content—segmented by purpose and usage
terms—and simplify its components by converting them into a numerical
code so that consumer devices can decode them.