CTIA Roundup: Microsoft and Nokia

By Azita Arvani

The CTIA Wireless show along with Billboard’s Mobile Entertainment Live took place recently in Las Vegas. There were a few copyright related items of interest that we will highlight for you here.

It seems like Microsoft and Google are getting a step closer to each other, at least when it comes to DRM technology, oops I mean content access technology.  Microsoft announced that PacketVideo will support its new PlayReady DRM in PacketVideo’s CORE multimedia application platform for mobile devices. We had a chat with Jonathan Usher, Director of Content Access and Protection Group at Microsoft. He said the version of CORE with PlayReady support, is planned to run on Android as well as Symbian and Linux platforms by end of this year.

In addition, PlayReady will be integrated into offerings from other companies, including CoreMedia (content management and Silverlight-based services), SafeNet (DRM server and cliens software), and Envivio (hardware audio/video encoders). For content providers that want to deliver protected content but don’t want to set up the server infrastructure themselves, Microsoft has launched the PlayReady Service Provider program, which offers hosted PlayReady server solutions through third parties. Six companies have already been approved as PlayReady Service Providers, including BuyDRM, CDNetworks, Entriq, ExtendMedia, Ipercast, and iStreamPlanet.

Usher also told us that AT&T will be using PlayReady technology as part of its three-screen services vision.  PlayReady will be part of AT&T’s IPTV, broadband, and wireless services. Microsoft will add support for PlayReady in its Mediaroom IPTV platform, which will enable use of PlayReady-protected content through AT&T’s U-verse TV set-top boxes. AT&T was one of the first carriers to jump onto Microsoft DRM bandwagon a few years back. PlayReady does not handle Conditional Access(CA) in its traditional sense, but according to Usher, it satisfies the use cases for CA.

Meanwhile, Nokia if forging ahead with its plans to extend Comes With Music service to regions beyond the UK, Australia, and Singapore.  Nokia has now expanded the service to Italy and Sweden. Users can have access to the entire music catalog for a period of 12 months, after which they can keep the downloaded tracks on their PC and on their phones. The downloaded music is protected by Windows Media DRM technology. The date for a US launch has not been announced.

Azita Arvani is Principal of Arvani Group.

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