HP strikes new digital rights management deals

2 Mar 2004

HP has moved into the nascent digital rights management (DRM) arena, signing major deals today with Intel and Philips to develop digital content protection technologies for the realms of the personal computer and digital television.

As part of its deal with Intel, HP has licensed the microprocessor giant’s high bandwidth digital content protection technology that is designed to ensure that video cannot be intercepted and recorded as it travels between devices such as a PC and a TV display screen and follows the usage rights of the video. The aim will be to make the technology invisible to consumers and yet offer them safe, flexible use of digital content.

HP decided that it made better sense to license the technology from Intel rather than try to come up with a competing standard.

In its deal with Philips Electronics, HP has jointly developed a copy protection technology for DVD+R (recorder) and DVD+RW (rewriter) optical discs that enables protected digital recordings of digital broadcast and cable TV that meet FCC (Federal Communications Commission) guidelines in the US.

The technology is also designed to enable direct recording of “copy once” content from digital broadcast signals.

The technology falls in line with an FCC ruling on digital media known as the “Broadcast Flag”, which says that broadcasters may in the future have the opportunity to include additional information or technology in their transmissions to protect the content from indiscriminate internet retransmission.

The technology developed by HP and Philips is designed to use the same DVD manufacturing technology in use today for the creation of DVD discs and players.

HP and Philips’ new technology already has generated support from a variety of industry leaders and DVD+R/+RW partners, including drive, software, independent software vendors and chipmakers.

“This technology is another example of HP’s commitment to protecting digital content,” said Vikki Pachera, vice-president, Global Alliances and Business Development, HP. “HP is working with both consumers and our industry partners to provide avenues for consumers to lawfully record and interact with digital content – while still enjoying a positive digital experience.”

“By implementing this system we once again underline the inherent flexibility of DVD+R/+RW as the only DVD recording format that fully meets the needs of both industry and consumers,” said Cesar Vohringer, chief technology officer, Philips Consumer Electronics. “With this technology we help protect the rights of the content owners and help provide the consumer with a safe choice that should help ensure the DVD recording experience both today and in the years to come.”

By John Kennedy