Industry group updates digital media spec

Industry group the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) has launched version 2.0 of its Digital Rights Management (DRM) specification to...

Industry group the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) has launched version 2.0 of its Digital Rights Management (DRM) specification to provide stronger access and copying protection for digital media content on mobile devices.

OMA DRM 2.0 adds protection features as well as improved support for device capabilities, audio and video rendering, streaming content and access to protected content using multiple devices.

The DRM system will be built into mobile handsets to allow compliant devices to receive and play encrypted files, and should also work with devices using Wi-Fi networks based on the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standards.

Version 1.0, introduced in November 2002, provided only basic protection for limited value content. Version 2.0 is designed to protect high-value content and enables new business models through its broader feature set.

OMA members announced plans for the creation of the Content Management License Administrator (CMLA), which intends to provide technology to help device makers and service providers create compatible products using the OMA DRM 2.0 specification.

The CMLA will provide encryption keys and certificates to licensed device makers and service providers to ensure interoperability. The group plans to have agreements for device makers, service providers and content providers ready in the next few months, with a toolkit including encryption keys due by the end of the year.

Companies involved with the CMLA are Nokia, Intel, RealNetworks, mmO2, Panasonic, Warner Brothers Entertainment and Samsung. Others, including Motorola and Vodafone Group, support the initiative.

RealNetworks has said it will incorporate the OMA DRM 2.0 specification in its Helix DRM technology and RealPlayer software, enabling users to deliver content protected according to the new specifications.

The OMA DRM 1.0 release is already used in a variety of handsets from Nokia, Siemens, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, as well as servers, middleware, applications and software from Nokia, Ericsson, NEC and Philips, among others.

Joris Evers and Laura Rohde write for IDG News Service

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