LONDON Major names in the semiconductor, IT and consumer electronics sectors have combined to form the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), and develop a common set of downloading standards to boost sales of handheld devices and web-based content, such as movies and music.
Among the companies involved are Intel, Alcatel-Lucent, Sony, Microsoft, Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Entertainment, and they will soon start developing a specification that works across different online services and devices.
However, notable absentees include Apple, the biggest seller of online music and video content, and Walt Disney.
Mitch Singer, chief technology officer at Sony Pictures, has been named president of the DECE. He said the group was trying to respond to consumer needs by removing some of the confusion about web downloading.
In its current form, DRM largely confines content to a limited number of devices depending on the source of that content. DECE intends that participating devices and services will be interoperable regardless of differing makes. DECE would allow an unlimited number of copies of a video to be created or burned on to a disc.
Apple owns its own proprietary DRM software, which means that the content it sells on its iTunes store can only play on iPods and other Apple devices.
Singer said the new standard and accompanying logo would make it easier for consumers to understand what they were buying. The standards will also allow consumers that have paid for content to access it remotely, via a "rights locker" that can be tapped from any location.
Others who have already signed up for the DECE project include, HP, Cisco, Toshiba , VeriSign, and Fox Entertainment Group.