Coral Consortium Call to Action
Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions and content protection technologies are key to the construction of legitimate media distribution systems. Without such technologies embedded into devices and networks, the convergence of IT, CE, and mobile technologies may significantly increase piracy and, perhaps more importantly, substantially impede the development of attractive new consumer-oriented services. DRM solutions and content protection technologies are now common distribution platform features; however, the lack of standards for interoperability between proprietary technologies is a serious impediment to the broad deployment of consumer-friendly legitimate media distribution.
Each of the participants in the content delivery chain has different requirements for DRM solutions.
On the Internet, where many of these providers meet, the dilemma posed by these conflicting needs is causing deadlock. In the absence of a solution, the market is evolving towards piracy as the path of least resistance.
The creation of a single common end-to-end DRM system would seem to be an attractive solution. However, allowing one DRM format to become the sole choice in the market would likely forfeit the benefits of a competitive market, such as lower pricing and increased innovation. In addition, a single DRM solution is an unlikely outcome for several reasons:
There is a simple approach to this problem: separate the standardization of DRM systems from the issue of interoperability. Let DRM components evolve for each specific platform, be they open, closed, proprietary, or otherwise, and create an Interoperability Layer through which such components can interact if their developers or adopters so choose. Packaging components, service components, and end-user device components can each be optimized for their function and for their stakeholders’ requirements. In order to be successful, this interoperability layer must:
This approach maximizes the likelihood of success by:
The Coral Consortium initiative is poised to solve this problem in the most effective way. Coral Consortium brings together key players from all ends of the content distribution value chain, including content owners, content delivery service and technology providers, DRM developers, and device manufacturers to work on an open, lightweight, and easy-to-license "interoperability layer" framework with short, medium, and long-term deliverables. In order to provide the desired interoperability, the Coral Consortium specifications must:
The Coral Consortium specifications will be as functionally rich as the technologies they interconnect, but no more complex than they absolutely need to be. These specifications will leverage commonly deployed security standards, and build on developments in networking standards and device-to-device communication.
Specifically, in order to achieve these goals, Coral Consortium will need to address four key areas:
The ultimate product of this effort is a set of specifications that
permit secure interoperability at all levels, whether between devices
in a home network or between diverse content distribution services and
devices from different vertical markets. Under these specifications, content
owners and content service providers will be able to use common rights
expression mechanisms to set policies in a way that can be interpreted
as content travels through its lifecycle. Ultimately, these specifications
should support a competitive, cost-effective ecosystem of content, services,
and devices that leverage appropriate proprietary and open DRM technologies
in a manner that is most effective for a given application, while providing
the consumer with “universal” play functionality.
Copyright © 2005