A Deal to Plug Analog Gap in Digital Media


Macrovision and Microsoft have teamed to expand a digital rights management licensing agreement that could help address the so-called analog gapthat allows digital media to break free of DRM protections.

David Kaefer, Microsoft’s director of intellectual property licensing, said the company already uses Macrovision technology in its Windows Media Center 2005 platform. It is also making its way into the company’s XBox game console and will be popping up in other systems, such as Windows Mobile and MSN TV products.

The entertainment industry also wants something that guarantees digital media distribution systems have protected content from getting “out in the clear” via “analog holes,” a term that describes how a user can ostensibly transfer digital media content from a digital device, then to an analog device such as a VCR, then move it back to a digital device.

The companies said under the licensing agreement, Microsoft’s Windows Media DRM technologies will recognize the Macrovision signals, enabling temporary storage (time shifting) on digital devices of Macrovision-protected content received via analog interfaces. In addition, an Internet-delivered movie, downloaded to a PC, can now be protected on analog video playback out of a PC.


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