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Here We Go Again: Video Standards War 2010

Jan 11, 2010, 17:03 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Updegrove)


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"So guess what? Here we go again, but with a bit of a twist this time.

"One thing that is different this time around is that it's the content owners, and not the consumer electronics firms that are pushing hard for a solution, so it's not patent royalties and the ability to sell a new generation of electronic devices that is driving the action.

"Instead, what's involved are two different approaches intended to help content vendors somehow survive in the face of plummeting revenues and a continuing plague of piracy while allowing legal content owners to watch videos on whatever device they want, wherever and whenever they want, without having to carry around the original media on which they purchased, for example, a movie.

"That's a hard problem to solve. If the content vendor wants to protect itself by using "Digital Rights Management" (DRM) technology to prevent you from sharing a single purchase with your 1,000 closest friends, it may also add a feature that may prevent you from transferring the same movie to your laptop as well, and especially if you download the video, rather than buying it on fixed media. Yes, the technology is getting more sophisticated, allowing you to perhaps copy a video or music download (or a copy of Word or an eBook, for that matter) to an approved number of devices, or share it with a certain number of friends, but that still isn't the same as being able to use your purchase as you wish without thinking about it."

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