February 12, 2007 10:42 AM PST

Microsoft launches 'PlayReady' DRM system

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January 30, 2007
BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft has launched a new digital rights management system that will allow the use of commercial content on multiple different devices for a single fee.

Microsoft PlayReady was unveiled at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. It will allow people to share protected pieces of content between mobile phones, PCs and other devices.

Chadd Knowlton, general manager for content access and protection at Microsoft, explained that PlayReady is based on a system of virtual environments called "domains." People can register multiple devices within their domain. If a mobile operator, Internet service provider or broadcaster has registered with PlayReady, their customers can purchase content through the system and then transfer it to other domain-registered devices. Alternatively, a user could download the content multiple times to each device.

Full coverage
Going mobile at 3GSM
More news from the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, one of the world's largest showcases of cutting-edge wireless technology.

Knowlton said that people could register family phones within a domain, for example. However, it's not clear how many devices can be registered in a single domain.

"PlayReady is not integrated with Windows Mobile 6," the Microsoft operating system officially introduced Monday, Knowlton said. "It's platform-agnostic, and you can use it on whatever you want to put it on."

When asked whether this meant that PlayReady could be used on a Symbian phone, a main rival to Windows Mobile, Knowlton replied that it could be used on "whatever a user wanted."

Although digital rights management (DRM) is popular with content creators, it has attracted criticism. Sony was widely attacked after using a rootkit-like application to hide content protection on some music CDs, and earlier this month Apple CEO Steve Jobs called on the music industry to drop its use of DRM.

Knowlton cautioned that PlayReady was a "foundation technology," which might not be a mainstream feature for some time.

It has already attracted some industry support, with Verizon, Telefonica and O2 all signing up as partners.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from Barcelona.

See more CNET content tagged:
Barcelona, digital-rights management, domain, Spain, mobile phone

43 comments

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Oh Goody!
Let's simplify things by creating another DRM system!

--mark d.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php" target="_newWindow">http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php</a>
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh Goody!
Let's simplify things by creating another DRM system!

--mark d.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php" target="_newWindow">http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php</a>
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Next in line for the DMR beauty contest...
First we have Plays For Sure.

Now we get Play Ready.

What's next? Play's Sometimes?

These domains sound like a nightmare to manage, and most
likely will screw up and require all sorts of modifications,
support and likely to interfere with when something in needed at
a critical moment.

Every song has to register itself in every node of my domain?
Give them the abilty to tack every single use of a digital product
I supposedly bought?

Right.

I'm with Jobs.
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And they get uglier every year!
Funny isn't it how after YEARS of this DRM junk the newer "contestants" are either no more attractive, or even LESS appealing, than the stuff consumers have already beaten down mercilessly.

Will these people EVER learn?
Posted by Yet Another Mark Johnson (66 comments )
Link Flag
Next in line for the DMR beauty contest...
First we have Plays For Sure.

Now we get Play Ready.

What's next? Play's Sometimes?

These domains sound like a nightmare to manage, and most
likely will screw up and require all sorts of modifications,
support and likely to interfere with when something in needed at
a critical moment.

Every song has to register itself in every node of my domain?
Give them the abilty to tack every single use of a digital product
I supposedly bought?

Right.

I'm with Jobs.
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And they get uglier every year!
Funny isn't it how after YEARS of this DRM junk the newer "contestants" are either no more attractive, or even LESS appealing, than the stuff consumers have already beaten down mercilessly.

Will these people EVER learn?
Posted by Yet Another Mark Johnson (66 comments )
Link Flag
Better...
...but still leaves much unanswered. Would there be a limit on how many devices I can enlist as mine? I would think that as long as a device is registered as mine, no one else can register it as theirs, so it really shouldn't matter how many I add.

Then there's the question of legacy devices that do not support PlayReady. When I buy a song or movie or album in a digital format, I have a right to convert that to any other digital format as long as the target device is my device. Content providers have no right to deny me that just because its not clear whether a particular device is mine or not.
Posted by phantomsoul (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better...
...but still leaves much unanswered. Would there be a limit on how many devices I can enlist as mine? I would think that as long as a device is registered as mine, no one else can register it as theirs, so it really shouldn't matter how many I add.

Then there's the question of legacy devices that do not support PlayReady. When I buy a song or movie or album in a digital format, I have a right to convert that to any other digital format as long as the target device is my device. Content providers have no right to deny me that just because its not clear whether a particular device is mine or not.
Posted by phantomsoul (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PlaysForMaybe?
PlayReady huh? Will that provide the same user experience as PlaysForSure did? Because I REALLY enjoyed fighting with that for weeks before just giving up. After messing with that nonsense for awhile I ended up getting an iPod.

Would someone hurry up and just KILL the DRM Frankenstein's Monster already!!? Consumers to Hollywood and Microsoft: "Enough ALREADY! Stop treating your customers like criminals!"

Steve Jobs is right. Just put a bullet in this DRM garbage and move on people!
Posted by Yet Another Mark Johnson (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better yet don't buy it
I would a) not buy it period. b) make sure to research what you are buying and if it has drm don't buy it.

There are alternatives out there both in format and the content. Frankly I think the "industry" will push so hard that consumers will look elsewhere. Perhaps more unsigned, or amature artists and content makers may win out over restrictive corporations.

Also did it ever occur to you that maybe changing the DRM software every few years is a viable model to ensure consumers will rebuy your products again? The same idea was used in cassettes and CDs had poorly used plastics that scratch easily, with all digital works you need someway to force consumers to buy it again to keep sales moving along. So you change the DRM and limit usage to force consumers to keep paying for the same slop they already bought. Add in a few license agreement mombojumbo and you can even erase the content whenever you feel you need to increase sales. Hell, you would get a little notification to consumers to pay a monthly fee (I mean bribe) to not have their content automatically deleted or have them magically locked out of the content for "violating the license" which changes daily.

Yep I would just look elsewhere.
Posted by zeroplane (286 comments )
Link Flag
PlaysForMaybe?
PlayReady huh? Will that provide the same user experience as PlaysForSure did? Because I REALLY enjoyed fighting with that for weeks before just giving up. After messing with that nonsense for awhile I ended up getting an iPod.

Would someone hurry up and just KILL the DRM Frankenstein's Monster already!!? Consumers to Hollywood and Microsoft: "Enough ALREADY! Stop treating your customers like criminals!"

Steve Jobs is right. Just put a bullet in this DRM garbage and move on people!
Posted by Yet Another Mark Johnson (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better yet don't buy it
I would a) not buy it period. b) make sure to research what you are buying and if it has drm don't buy it.

There are alternatives out there both in format and the content. Frankly I think the "industry" will push so hard that consumers will look elsewhere. Perhaps more unsigned, or amature artists and content makers may win out over restrictive corporations.

Also did it ever occur to you that maybe changing the DRM software every few years is a viable model to ensure consumers will rebuy your products again? The same idea was used in cassettes and CDs had poorly used plastics that scratch easily, with all digital works you need someway to force consumers to buy it again to keep sales moving along. So you change the DRM and limit usage to force consumers to keep paying for the same slop they already bought. Add in a few license agreement mombojumbo and you can even erase the content whenever you feel you need to increase sales. Hell, you would get a little notification to consumers to pay a monthly fee (I mean bribe) to not have their content automatically deleted or have them magically locked out of the content for "violating the license" which changes daily.

Yep I would just look elsewhere.
Posted by zeroplane (286 comments )
Link Flag
Oh yeah, this will be popular.
There is absolutely no way I will ever buy a DRM track. I don't care how they to dress up this pig, it's still a pig. I'm not even taking her to first base.
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Two phrases you never hear:
1. "I think I'll stick this red-hot poker up my butt."

2. "I'm going to buy some more DRM tracks."
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Link Flag
Oh yeah, this will be popular.
There is absolutely no way I will ever buy a DRM track. I don't care how they to dress up this pig, it's still a pig. I'm not even taking her to first base.
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Two phrases you never hear:
1. "I think I'll stick this red-hot poker up my butt."

2. "I'm going to buy some more DRM tracks."
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Link Flag
Why... Microsoft is absolutely -FLUSHED- with success...
What..? ME..? Sarcastic..?

Lets see...

-One, small, "study" has shown a slight increase in sales of "Windows Vista", over "XP", ...on newly purchased ("Vista pre-installed" machines) that is, ...despite the generally-acknowledged "lack-luster" commercial-sales, ...and the rather vehement resistance, in the marketplace, to virtually everything the product, actually, represents to "consumers" (not to mention, recommendation, after recommendation, after recommendation, from almost every consumer and IT, sector to "...avoid Vista ...as long as possible").

-Microsofts new "X-BOX" is predicted to meet, new ("drastically-reduced") "sales-expectations", ...at some point in the future, ...maybe.

-After their, widely-mocked "Get the Facts" (Anti-Linux) campaign (and, with the utter-collapse of "SCO" and their BOGUS case against LINUX-dom)... Microsoft has, suddenly, embraced "Novell Linux" with a cross-cooperation "deal", ...which is rattling the cages of virtually the entire "Open Source" world (who, very-rightly, fear that Microsoft is simply up to its old, under-handed, anti-competitive, tricks again).

-Also, yet another, tiny, "survey" now actually claims that "Office 2007" is virtually running-away with "higher sales" (well, slightly, "higher" than those originally recorded for "Office 2003" when it first came out). Why, the usual-SHILLS (and, possibly, some desperate stock-holders) have already come out in MAXIMUM ASTROTURFING-FORCE, to tout this alleged-miracle, ...Of course, initial sales of "Office 2003" WAS generally considered to be the first major marketing-failure for a Microsoft "flagship" product. It seemed like nobody (especially in the "business world") wanted to deal with the expense of replacing ("upgrading") a perfectly functional previous-product ("Office 97"), ...just because Microsoft wanted more revenue. So... perhaps, comparing such "new product" sales, to that particular "older product", might not be such a good indicator of "product-success" (...just a thought).

-Should I even mention "Zune"..?

And now, Microsoft has come out with, ...yet another, UNWANTED, "DRM" scheme, ...just when, virtually, the ENTIRE WORLD has basically begun declaring the, long-overdue, "...DEATH of DRM".

So, I guess Microsoft is simply -FLUSHED with SUCCESS-... Or, (based upon the apparent-DESPERATION that is continually being shown by MS-bigwigs) is Microsoft actually in the process of, simply, being... FLUSHED..?
Posted by Had_to_be_said (384 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why... Microsoft is absolutely -FLUSHED- with success...
What..? ME..? Sarcastic..?

Lets see...

-One, small, "study" has shown a slight increase in sales of "Windows Vista", over "XP", ...on newly purchased ("Vista pre-installed" machines) that is, ...despite the generally-acknowledged "lack-luster" commercial-sales, ...and the rather vehement resistance, in the marketplace, to virtually everything the product, actually, represents to "consumers" (not to mention, recommendation, after recommendation, after recommendation, from almost every consumer and IT, sector to "...avoid Vista ...as long as possible").

-Microsofts new "X-BOX" is predicted to meet, new ("drastically-reduced") "sales-expectations", ...at some point in the future, ...maybe.

-After their, widely-mocked "Get the Facts" (Anti-Linux) campaign (and, with the utter-collapse of "SCO" and their BOGUS case against LINUX-dom)... Microsoft has, suddenly, embraced "Novell Linux" with a cross-cooperation "deal", ...which is rattling the cages of virtually the entire "Open Source" world (who, very-rightly, fear that Microsoft is simply up to its old, under-handed, anti-competitive, tricks again).

-Also, yet another, tiny, "survey" now actually claims that "Office 2007" is virtually running-away with "higher sales" (well, slightly, "higher" than those originally recorded for "Office 2003" when it first came out). Why, the usual-SHILLS (and, possibly, some desperate stock-holders) have already come out in MAXIMUM ASTROTURFING-FORCE, to tout this alleged-miracle, ...Of course, initial sales of "Office 2003" WAS generally considered to be the first major marketing-failure for a Microsoft "flagship" product. It seemed like nobody (especially in the "business world") wanted to deal with the expense of replacing ("upgrading") a perfectly functional previous-product ("Office 97"), ...just because Microsoft wanted more revenue. So... perhaps, comparing such "new product" sales, to that particular "older product", might not be such a good indicator of "product-success" (...just a thought).

-Should I even mention "Zune"..?

And now, Microsoft has come out with, ...yet another, UNWANTED, "DRM" scheme, ...just when, virtually, the ENTIRE WORLD has basically begun declaring the, long-overdue, "...DEATH of DRM".

So, I guess Microsoft is simply -FLUSHED with SUCCESS-... Or, (based upon the apparent-DESPERATION that is continually being shown by MS-bigwigs) is Microsoft actually in the process of, simply, being... FLUSHED..?
Posted by Had_to_be_said (384 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Next up, a new MSFT 'ergonomics peripheral'!
...it'll be a pair of electrodes that must be attached to the users'
genitalia in order for Windows to remain running... it will deliver
random 25,000-volt shocks whenever the OS detects that the
user hasn't entered his or her credit card number often enough
on a Microsoft online store.

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Next up, a new MSFT 'ergonomics peripheral'!
...it'll be a pair of electrodes that must be attached to the users'
genitalia in order for Windows to remain running... it will deliver
random 25,000-volt shocks whenever the OS detects that the
user hasn't entered his or her credit card number often enough
on a Microsoft online store.

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft: you can take your DRM and cram it
I'm not buying Vista, and I'm not going to be subjected to DRM in any form.
Posted by vm019302 (85 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft: you can take your DRM and cram it
I'm not buying Vista, and I'm not going to be subjected to DRM in any form.
Posted by vm019302 (85 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why not rename it to ReadyToBendYouOverAgain?
nt
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why not rename it to ReadyToBendYouOverAgain?
nt
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
At least they are trying
Jobs followers are just like Democrats - love to point fingers at what doesn't work yet have no plan of their own. DRM is necessary - deal with it - until the labels say otherwise, and that ain't happening anytime soon.

So...what then? Come up with a DRM that works well for both consumers and providers. While there is no guarantee this will work, at least MSFT is making another attempt.

Until you have a better plan (besides dumping it) then get off the soapbox.
Posted by mr. cynical (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wrong, wrong, and wrong
1. Jobs followers are just like Democrats - love to point fingers at what doesn't work yet have no plan of their own.

Wrong. Jobs does have a plan. Sell music without DRM.

2. DRM is necessary - deal with it - until the labels say otherwise, and that ain't happening anytime soon.

Wrong. DRM is not necessary. As long as DRM exists, informed consumers are going to stay away from purchasing online music. This means that they are going to continue to rip and share CDs, since that's the best option open to them.

3. Come up with a DRM that works well for both consumers and providers. While there is no guarantee this will work, at least MSFT is making another attempt.

Wrong. The problem isn't whether or not the DRM works. The problem is DRM. Apple's FairPlay works fine. I still won't buy a FairPlay track because I refuse to purchase DRM material.
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Link Flag
Here is my solution.
I no longer buy label music. I will buy music from local unsigned bands. That is it.

As long as the labels have DRM they will not get any of my money from online sales or from in store CD purchases.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
At least they are trying
Jobs followers are just like Democrats - love to point fingers at what doesn't work yet have no plan of their own. DRM is necessary - deal with it - until the labels say otherwise, and that ain't happening anytime soon.

So...what then? Come up with a DRM that works well for both consumers and providers. While there is no guarantee this will work, at least MSFT is making another attempt.

Until you have a better plan (besides dumping it) then get off the soapbox.
Posted by mr. cynical (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wrong, wrong, and wrong
1. Jobs followers are just like Democrats - love to point fingers at what doesn't work yet have no plan of their own.

Wrong. Jobs does have a plan. Sell music without DRM.

2. DRM is necessary - deal with it - until the labels say otherwise, and that ain't happening anytime soon.

Wrong. DRM is not necessary. As long as DRM exists, informed consumers are going to stay away from purchasing online music. This means that they are going to continue to rip and share CDs, since that's the best option open to them.

3. Come up with a DRM that works well for both consumers and providers. While there is no guarantee this will work, at least MSFT is making another attempt.

Wrong. The problem isn't whether or not the DRM works. The problem is DRM. Apple's FairPlay works fine. I still won't buy a FairPlay track because I refuse to purchase DRM material.
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Link Flag
Here is my solution.
I no longer buy label music. I will buy music from local unsigned bands. That is it.

As long as the labels have DRM they will not get any of my money from online sales or from in store CD purchases.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
Consumer should speak with their wallets
I am and always have been against any form of this DRM crap. And this extends to the latest in software registration which requires me to go through the 'easy and painless' registration system, which becomes a 'long and painful experience' when you delete Photoshop CS2 off a computer but don't 'release' the license.

I haven't purchased a CD in 5 years in protest to unreasonably high CD prices (A CD has always been between 15-20 dollars since they were introduced, yet the cost to make them has dropped to pratically nothing). I say 4.99 is a fair price.

Stop buying songs online. I have never purchased a song online, and never will so long as there is some form of DRM associated with it. You aren't buying music, you are renting it.

Can't we get back to the system where when a consumer buys something, they can do with it what they please?

When I buy my next car, is there going to be something that prevents me from taking it out of state?!
Posted by Professor Cornbread (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Problem is Ignorance.
Ask the average non-tech user what they think a computer is and what comes with one.

The answer is likely "Oh, it's a thingy that does my web and email. It comes with (guess which OS I would normally type in here?)..."

Most know no different. A good share of them probably think that an Apple comes with Windows pre-installed.

PS: Screw Photoshop - get GIMP :)

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Consumer should speak with their wallets
I am and always have been against any form of this DRM crap. And this extends to the latest in software registration which requires me to go through the 'easy and painless' registration system, which becomes a 'long and painful experience' when you delete Photoshop CS2 off a computer but don't 'release' the license.

I haven't purchased a CD in 5 years in protest to unreasonably high CD prices (A CD has always been between 15-20 dollars since they were introduced, yet the cost to make them has dropped to pratically nothing). I say 4.99 is a fair price.

Stop buying songs online. I have never purchased a song online, and never will so long as there is some form of DRM associated with it. You aren't buying music, you are renting it.

Can't we get back to the system where when a consumer buys something, they can do with it what they please?

When I buy my next car, is there going to be something that prevents me from taking it out of state?!
Posted by Professor Cornbread (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Problem is Ignorance.
Ask the average non-tech user what they think a computer is and what comes with one.

The answer is likely "Oh, it's a thingy that does my web and email. It comes with (guess which OS I would normally type in here?)..."

Most know no different. A good share of them probably think that an Apple comes with Windows pre-installed.

PS: Screw Photoshop - get GIMP :)

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Tell me if I am right?
I have a screaming migraine so I might not have read this story right, but if it works across platforms I would think that it is a streaming service.

1. You buy (rent the music)
2. You register the device you want to play the music on.
3. When you want to play it, they stream it to you.
4. You pay big bandwidth charges to your cell company.
5. Microsoft decides to no longer offer this service and you music is gone.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tell me if I am right?
I have a screaming migraine so I might not have read this story right, but if it works across platforms I would think that it is a streaming service.

1. You buy (rent the music)
2. You register the device you want to play the music on.
3. When you want to play it, they stream it to you.
4. You pay big bandwidth charges to your cell company.
5. Microsoft decides to no longer offer this service and you music is gone.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I understand the fear
Really, I do. I understand their fear. One person buys a ringtone, then gives it out to 1 million of his closest friends. That's alot of revenue to lose, especially at $1.99 to $2.99 a pop.

But is it really fair to pay $1.99 for a wallpaper when the picture is only 176 x 220? That's a really small picture. Even a full 1440 x 900 isn't worth $1.99.

Personally, I never liked paying .99 for one single DRM Ridden song.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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