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Is DRM No Longer a Dirty Word?
With new technologies, digital rights management is working in the background -- or in the cloud -- and staying out of the viewer's way, says Irdeto.

DRM, or digital rights management, has been a dirty word with consumers since premium content first appeared online. With the move to DRM-free tracks from online music stores, some consumers might have the impression that DRM has gone away. That's hardly the case, but DRM is no longer the nuisance it once was.

Explaining the transformation was Christopher Schouten, senior marketing director for Irdeto, at the recent Streaming Media Europe conference in London.

"The problem has clearly been the fact that when any technology restricts people's enjoyment of media -- and lets face it, at the end of the day media is about enjoyment -- then we've got a problem. And when it restricts it in a way especially that impacts legitimate paying customers, then that's completely unacceptable," said Schouten.

"I think the shift that we've had is now that the bandwidth has increased globally, that codecs and smooth streaming technologies are much more mature than they were several years ago. We're moving a lot more towards streaming, and with streaming DRM becomes much more transparent, because what you're doing is authenticating and encrypting each individual stream on each individual device that you play it back from. That's a relatively seamless experience for a consumer. If you download a file and then you try and pass it around from device to device, that's when you start getting mostly in trouble with DRM restrictions.

"So I think the move to streaming is one of the major things that's probably reduced the concerns somewhat related to DRM because it's made it more transparent -- like it should be," Schouten added.

For more on how DRM's dark days are over, watch the full video below.

DRM: No Longer a Dirty Word?

With new approaches to content protection and digital rights management (DRM), content publishers are partnering with technology providers to offer solutions that empower, rather than inhibit, consumers. And, as consumers show increased willingness to pay for content if it's priced right and made easily accessible, it appears that DRM's dark days are over . Panelists will discuss new DRM and content protection schemes, as well as strategies for deploying them effectively.

Moderator: Troy Dreier, Senior Associate Editor, StreamingMedia.com
Gulliver Smithers, Chief Technology Officer, Base79
Sven Slazenger, Managing Partner, Interlake Media GmbH
Christopher Schouten, Senior Marketing Director, Irdeto Online, Irdeto

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