Friday, March 24, 2006

The Vista Gap: DRM Assumptions Dealt a Powerful Blow in Microsoft Setback

The AP notes along with many others the technology winners and losers in the delayed launch of Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system, but the potential impact to content producers goes largely uncovered so far. Vista was to have been the lock-down platform for digital rights management that would solve the distribution issues of many media and publishing companies. Now delayed into 2007, 2006 becomes a year in which there will be far greater uncertainty amongst content producers about which path to take in protecting intellectual property rights. This opens up a huge window of opportunity for content producers to rethink their DRM strategies and to reconsider how open DRM standards or less platform-dependent proprietary systems may be able to help them make progress in their plans to protect intellectual property via rights management. It may also give enterprise-oriented companies a new opportunity to think about how the rapid progression of enterprise DRM to support compliance and legal retention requirements may need to be considered anew as factors in packaging content.

While it's far from clear that content producers will start scrambling for these alternatives any time soon, the consumer side of the business doubtless sees holiday sales looming and will want to consider some plan "B"s to approach managing IP this year. Whatever their choices, the all-purpose Microsoft-centric PC as a repository for professionally produced content just took a huge step backwards. We're not likely to see Linux desktops sprouting up like weeds any time soon, but content producers may look back at this point in time and see that this was the beginning of a time when they began to consider more seriously how they could succeed independent of a Microsoft-dictated future for their content rights management.
Post a Comment