Home > News > Congress Ponders DRM Standardization • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Congress Ponders DRM Standardization

Congress Ponders DRM Standardization
Get XBIZ News
Apr 7, 2005 10:02 AM PDT    Text size: 
WASHINGTON - Should consumers who purchase media on one platform, like Apple’s iTunes, be able to play them on another, like Windows Media Player? Congress is considering a single Digital Rights Management protocol that will force interoperability.

But many businesses are hesitant.

Congressmen Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.) convened the House subcommittee on Intellectual Property to debate the merits of instituting a single plan, but some business leaders advocate letting the market decide.

"Marketplace forces will continue to drive innovation in the DRM arena with attendant consumer benefits,” said Napster CTO William Pence, “while gradually solving the interoperability problem,"

Pence envisioned “new ways to enjoy digital music at a variety of different price points” rather than adopting a uniform protocol.

“This interoperability issue is of concern to me since consumers who bought legal copies of music from Real (Networks) could not play them on an iPod," countered Smith.

Smith regretted that Apple representatives chose not to attend the hearing. “Companies with 75 percent market share of any business, in this case the digital download market, need to step up to the plate when it comes to testifying on policy issues that impact their industry,” he said. “Failure to do so is a mistake."

The controversy highlights companies’ desire to have proprietary rights to media, Congress’ goal of regulating standards, and some consumer wishes not to have standards at all.

Apple has been battling anti-DRM activists who have hacked iTunes to allow non-clients to download music and play it on multiple hardware. While the songs are in MP3 format and thus may be copied more than Apple’s FairPlay DRM allows, the creators of hack program PyMusique note that the songs are still purchased at Apple’s price.

Standardization detractors noted Apple’s dominance of the desktop market in the mid-80s as an example of the perils of a closed system approach. Ray Gifford, president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, further warned the panel that a mandatory digital standard adoption might favor one group over another.

"For public policy makers, we can never forget the lessons of public choice theory, which predicts that firms and interest groups will seek government favor in promoting their standards solution and handicapping their rivals," Gifford said. "Any call for the government to prefer one standard or model over another must be subject to most exacting skepticism."

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


The Skinny on the New DMCA Requirement

The requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have changed, but the sky is not falling. We have, even as a law firm, been hit with an unbelievable amount of spam sent out by law firms... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »

Fraudulent Brazilian Trademark Registrations Running Rampant

Although you might not think often about protecting your trademark rights in Brazil, you need to — even if you don’t yet have a single Brazilian customer. Scammers are constantly looking for... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.



Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!