Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it would increase investments in digital rights management (DRM) to guard against piracy and support the wireless industry, as more tunes, pictures and video clips are sent over the airwaves to mobile phones.
More than 30 million U.S. wireless subscribers will consume video and television content on mobile devices by 2009, estimates IDC Corp.
Providing no financial details, Microsoft said only that the investment would prove "significant." The Redmond, Wash., company claims more than 100 content service licenses and deploys the Microsoft Windows Media DRM platform on hundreds of devices to deliver content securely for playback on computers, mobile devices and portable devices.
The platform supports download and play, subscription, video on demand, and enables device manufacturers to directly acquire licenses on their handsets.
CinemaNow Inc. vice president of engineering Jack Horner said Monday customers downloading-to-own movie files offered from the company's Web site are protected by Microsoft's DRM platform
Microsoft also has been working along side Thomson and Time Warner Inc. through a joint venture called ContentGuard to enable interoperability among DRM platforms.
Microsoft said the DRM platform will serve as a key building block to enable new and innovative scenarios for mobile content delivery — an important request of wireless industry leaders.
At the Digital Hollywood Spring 2006 conference last week in Santa Monica, Calif., DRM supporters and critics debated for days the implications wireless and wired technologies continues to have on the music and movie industries.
Music and movie industry executives said the technology is important to protect artists' rights and revenues.