Microsoft DRM is PlayReady

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DENVER -- Fresh off the release of its new Vista and Windows Mobile 6 operating systems, Microsoft has unveiled a digital rights management technology called PlayReady.

The new DRM scheme is designed for mobile devices, taking what has been called a "domain-based" approach. This means content purchased for mobile devices will not be limited to the device on which it was purchased. Rather, users can register several mobile devices within a domain and share PlayReady-enabled content among them or download multiple copies of the same content.

This is a rather new DRM philosophy that even Microsoft said likely will take time before it catches on.

Supported content includes ringtones, graphics, games and video as well as such business models as rental, subscription and a la carte. Wireless operators Telefonica SA, Verizon Wireless, Bouygues Telecom and AT&T have announced support for the technology, which they expect to begin implementing by the first half.

Microsoft officials said the DRM system will work on any mobile phone operating system, not just Windows Mobile 6. It was introduced at the 3GSM wireless conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Antony Bruno is a contributor to Billboard.
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