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Microsoft DRM Technologies Establish Foundation For Emerging eBooks Industries

Thursday, June 14, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

REDMOND, Wash. -- June 13, 2001 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced two key Digital Rights Management (DRM) milestones that highlight the rapid acceptance and adoption of Microsoft's DRM technologies for audio, video and eBooks. First, Windows Media™ DRM technology has been used in more than 7.5 million transactions for secure music and video, making it the most widely used technology to date for securely distributing digital media over the Internet. This data is based on reporting from leading companies, including DMDsecure, iBEAM Broadcasting Corp., Liquid Audio, On Demand Distribution (OD2), Reciprocal Inc., and RioPort Inc., that service secure music and video transactions. Microsoft also announced that its DRM solution in the eBook industry, Digital Asset Server, is currently running more than 20 eBookstores worldwide. Today's announcement illustrates how, in just two years, both Windows Media and eBooks DRM have become essential foundations for Web services that offer consumers immediate access to their favorite music, video and books. "Nearly all the new media business models require a robust DRM solution to be successful," said Jay Samit, senior vice president of EMI Recorded Music. "Microsoft's continued innovation and commitment to quality sound in Windows Media is helping us develop profitable new ways of connecting music fans with the artists they love." "The profitability of high-value digital content distribution on the Web depends on the deployment of flexible, secure and easy-to-use rights management technology to hundreds of millions of users worldwide," said Will Poole, vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Microsoft is excited about the rapidly accelerating growth in transaction volume that our associates are seeing now; we expect radically more growth as our DRM technologies are applied to new types of content and new business models in the coming year." "Microsoft's success in meeting the needs of thousands of publishing and media customers provides us with a unique foundation from which we can develop our next-generation DRM solutions," said Dick Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft. "The success of future DRM systems will depend not only on security, but also on ease of use, applicability to multiple types of content, integration with industry ecosystems, and delivery of the most flexible business models possible." Windows Media DRM Powering New Digital Media Services Today In August 1999, Windows Media became the first format for streamed and downloaded audio and video to integrate DRM technology. Since then Windows Media DRM has become a proven and tested solution used by all the major music labels for delivering music trials, downloads of digital songs and albums from major artists. The film industry has also begun using Windows Media DRM to deliver streamed and downloaded full-length major motion pictures. Advanced DRM technology in Windows Media enables the legal sharing of music and video via "super-distribution" and has become the foundation breakthrough digital media subscription businesses. Rioport and CenterSpan Proving the Value of DRM Today One of the key pioneers in developing these services is RioPort, a leading music application service provider that is working with all the major and key independent labels to deliver music downloads, many of which utilize the Windows Media second-generation DRM technology. RioPort recently announced agreements to deliver thousands of top-tier commercial music downloads using Windows Media DRM to a number of leading online music destinations, including MTV.com, VH1.com, HOB.com and BestBuy.com, via its PulseOne Media Service. "The pioneering features of Windows Media have made it the favored DRM technology among many of our major and independent music label partners," said Jim Long, president and CEO of RioPort. "Windows Media provides consumers with a host of attractive capabilities that we feel are key to transitioning consumers to buying their music online." CenterSpan's Scour Exchange is also pioneering peer-to peer subscription services using Windows Media DRM to provide a way for consumers to "legally share" music and video. "Microsoft's flexible and real-world-tested technology is why CenterSpan selected Windows Media DRM as the foundation for Scour, our mediated peer-to-peer subscription service for music and video," said Frank Hausmann, chairman and CEO of CenterSpan Communications. "Assuring our content partners, including labels, artists and music publishers, that their materials are secure is our No. 1 goal. Working with Windows Media gives us the widest audience reach with superior digital rights security." Pioneering New Business Models for Video Content Film industry pioneers are turning to Windows Media to build sustainable businesses distributing video content online. Leading content providers now are delivering more than 2 million movies a month in Windows Media Format -- and gaining revenue today from their online viewers. The unique combination of Windows Media quality, size and innovative DRM for video is being embraced by companies such as CinemaNow (PPV for secure video streaming), FilmSpeed (syndicated streaming and downloaded video), Intertainer (movie streaming via DSL and cable), SightSound (movie rentals and purchases), Lions Gate Entertainment (releasing films via CinemaNow) and Comedy Central. Providing the Broadest Reach for Content Owners Windows Media DRM Technology has in less than two years become the most widely deployed technology for protecting audio and video on the Internet, providing the broadest reach of any DRM technology in the industry for content providers. * More than 350 million secure Windows Media Players distributed worldwide support playback of audio and video using Windows Media DRM. * More than 275 companies have licensed Windows Media DRM to create secure digital media distribution systems for Windows Media audio and video content. * More than 130 software developers, including MusicMatch, RealJukebox, RioPort's Audio Manager, Sonic Foundry Siren, Voquette Media Manager, AOL WinAmp, and Yahoo [Media] Player, have licensed Windows Media DRM in the Windows Media Format SDK to support playback of secure audio and video in software. * And 37 of the leading consumer electronic devices manufacturers, as well as chip manufacturers such as Atmel, Cirrus Logic, Intel, PortalPlayer and Texas Instruments, have licensed Windows Media Format and DRM. eBooks DRM Powering the Next Generation of Publishing In August 2000, Microsoft launched its DRM effort for eBooks with BarnesandNoble.com. Barnes andNoble.com selected Microsoft's Digital Asset Server as its preferred DRM solution and Microsoft Reader as its preferred eBook software. Since the launch of Microsoft's eBooks DRM effort, Microsoft has announced similar preferred relationships with some of the most influential companies in the publishing and retaliating world, including Amazon.com in the United States, Mondori.com in Italy, Groupo Planeta in Spain and Latin America, Vivendi Universal in France, Kinokuniya in Japan, and AdLibris in Sweden. Currently, Microsoft is working with Lightening Source Inc., Overdrive Systems, Reciprocal, Content Guard, and CBL in the United Kingdom, building solutions around the eBooks DRM effort of Microsoft using Digital Asset Server technology. With these associates, Microsoft is offering DRM solutions designed for the publishing industry from hosting, clearing, and aggregating content for rapidly deployable eBookstores. Microsoft DRM and ebooks solution have also earned the attention of the top publishing concerns in the world. Random House, Simon & Shuster, Harper-Collins, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, St. Martins Press, Scholastic, Mondadori, Groupo Planeta, Vivendi-Universal Publishing, and many others have combined to offer more than 10,000 eBooks in Microsoft Reader format. These associations have brought some of the most exciting authors, from K.A. Applegate to Michael Crichton, and content to consumers in Microsoft Reader eBook format.

 

 

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