Digital rights management vendor extends reach

www.infoworld.com |  Development

U.S. DIGITAL RIGHTS management specialist ContentGuard Inc., known for its work in the electronic books space, Tuesday made good on its commitment to broaden its reach to cover other media.

McLean, Virginia-based ContentGuard's software enables content owners to protect their intellectual property, and provides them with a variety of ways in which users can to access the content, be it timed delivery or snapshots of the content -- such as one chapter from a book or a single song from an album.

The company will be working with e-Vue Inc. to take the basic ContentGuard platform and embed it into e-Vue's compression system for video and distribution, according to Ranjit Singh, ContentGuard president and chief operating officer.

e-Vue specializes in providing MPEG-4-compliant streaming media for the delivery of still images, video and audio over the Net. An enhanced version that incorporates the ContentGuard technology should be out before the end of the year, Singh estimated.

ContentGuard is likely to announce key partnerships with audio companies within the next four to six weeks, Singh said.

"It has always been our strategy to work with multiple formats and multiple OSes," Singh said at the Seybold publishing conference in San Francisco.

ContentGuard also announced Tuesday that the upcoming release 1.3 of its eponymous software, due out early in the fourth quarter of this year, will support Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating system as well as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows OS. Having an industry partner like Sun is important as ContentGuard moves into the entertainment industry, Singh said.

The company is "toying with" supporting Linux, particularly given the backing the open-source OS has already received on the server side from the likes of Dell Computer Corp. and IBM Corp., according to Singh.

"As demand builds up in the industry, our platform can be ported very quickly wherever [needed]," he said.

ContentGuard, formerly the Xerox Rights Management division, was spun out of Xerox Corp. in April of this year. Both Xerox and Microsoft Corp. own stakes in ContentGuard and are also key partners for the digital rights management player.

In order not to be left out of the value chain, "publishers need to provide more value-added services, they need flexible and open business models," Singh said.

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