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IBM broadens digital rights management software

IBM will release today Version 2 of its EMMS digital rights management software, which includes the ability to protect digital content of any file type, company officials said.

EMMS 2 is the evolution of Electronic Media Management System (EMMS), software designed for electronic media distribution that originally protected music files.

For example, with the previous version of EMMS, a company had the ability to make a song downloadable and then automatically expire after the user played it a specified number of times.

"We've extended EMMS to include all file types," said Brett MacIntyre, vice-president of IBM's content and information integration software group.

EMMS 2 can now protect audio, text, image, and video files, as well as other formats, including Adobe PDF and Open-eBook, IBM said.

MacIntyre continued to say that IBM more tightly integrated EMMS with its other content management-related technologies Content Management Server, DB2, and middleware components such as WebSphere and the VideoCharger, for streaming video. EMMS 2 also supports Microsoft's Windows Media Player.

Furthermore, IBM beefed up support for devices so that EMMS can be used with PCs, PDAs, CDs, and kiosks.

The goal of EMMS, MacIntyre added, is to align digital rights management with content management.

"Digital rights management used to be a separate thought," MacIntyre said.

EMMS protects content by ensuring that only authorised users have access to the material. MacIntyre pointed to the sharing of X-rays among hospitals as an example. With EMMS, hospitals can ensure that when they share X-rays with another hospital or doctor, that doctor will not be able to share the X-ray with anyone else without necessary permission.

EMMS Version 2 will be available at the end of this month.

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