clap clap blog: we have moved

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
I know there's not often a lot of interest in these sorts of things, but nevertheless, here's an excerpt from a letter that just came over the wire.


EMI has recently been engaged in discussions with Microsoft on a variety of issues of mutual interest. During the course of these discussions, an important development occurred: Literally in the last few days, Microsoft indicated a willingness to support an industr-wide copy control platform that will enable individual labels to set their own DRM rules (number of burns etc) within an industry pre-defined framework.


Microsoft are very rightly focused on the consumer and so one of the issues they have flagged up is that they want to know label intentions about offering consumers additional "value" as a quid pro quo for adding effective DRM into the consumer experience. This information would be provided to Microsoft one-on-one or via RIAA, as would label intentions regarding consumer education on how this content protection would work.

RIAA and IFPI are fully in the loop and with their lawyers have agreed that we can respond to Microsoft's request as long as we do so in a way that is inclusive of relevant industries. The first step is to determind if there is a consensus on high-level functional specifications defining what functionality labels want in a DRM. If so, we can communicate that to Microsoft on their timetable, and we would make the same information available to other interested industry participants. Should there be interest in developing technical specifications, we would involve the other industry participants in any such effort.


What follows is a set of specifications I'm too busy to type in right now. More later if there's interest.

BRIEF UPDATE: The specifications, from what I'm seeing at a quick glance, would allow consumers to pick their own format (as long as it fell within the DRM specifications) and transfer it to wherever they wanted (again, as long as it fell within the DRM specifications) subject to whatever options the individual label/artist wanted. In return, the DRM-protected music would have "enhanced content," defined as it usually is these days--websites, videos, etc. The DRM options would be transferred along with the file and so it would stay protected even when burned or moved.