RealNetworks announces multi-format DRM

Today RealNetworks will introduce “Helix DRM”, a digital rights management system that supports MPEG-4, H.263, MP3, AAC, AMR, RealAudio and RealVideo. Dan Sheeran, VP of Media Systems for RealNetworks, told

It used to be that content owners would have separate DRM for each format that they wanted to support, and consumer electronics makers would have to implement a separate DRM engine to decrypt those files on their devices. This, for the first time, enables content owners to deliver secure content to any PC or non-PC device using a single DRM and gives device makers a single engine to support all formats.

Not true, of course — there have been many format-agnostic DRM systems — but more power to them if they can convince the mainsteam press that they have something new and unique.

As I’ve mentioned before on PlaybackTime, if you standardize on a DRML (digital rights markup language) you don’t need a universal DRM solution. In fact, DRM solutions that are appropriate for PCs are completely inappropriate for phones and vice versa, since the environment and requirements are so different. This strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. | Hollywood Reporter story | story | Reuters story