New online digital storage 'Ecosystem' to rival iTunes?

A consortium of media companies including Alcatel-Lucent, Best Buy, Cisco, Comcast, Fox, HP, Intel, Lions Gate, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Philips, Sony, Toshiba, VeriSign and Warner Bros plan to create a digital video 'ecosystem'. This new digital framework, essentially an online virtual storage library containing a digital rights locker, would be in direct contrast to Apple's iTunes vendor-based model. The consortium will call itself Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (or DECE) and their goal is to create an "uniform digital media experience". More specifically, it would give the media producers more control over the media rather than leaving that in the domain of online retailers like Apple. Consumers would be able to copy licensed material to their portable devices or burn the content onto physical media. They plan to use a DECE logo to signify which digital content is compatible and their aim is to make digital media as easy to play as a DVD purchased from a store. In fact, they would embrace the "buy once, play anywhere" model. More details will be released during the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009.

"This is very different from the Apple ecosystem," said DECE President Mitch Singer. "We encourage Apple to join the consortium. We don't ever anticipate Apple going away or this consortium replacing it." Yet in the same interview Singer said that this new ecosystem would turn Apple's "closed" iTunes model 'on its head'.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Does "Muslim Massacre" show need for Internet regulation?

Next Story

Mozilla jumps on privacy bandwagon

18 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I try to download most material from 7digital.com as they offer it in MP3 or AAC format. At a last resort I buy from iTunes

What a load of ********. Haven't these companies learned that consumers don't want DRM. Hasn't the Microsoft "plays for sure" or Apples AAC (or whatever it was) or Yahoo'd failed DRM schemes registered with you?

If you really must, "go for it" guys.


I won't be sending you any of my money though, I'll go to the stores offering DRM FREE content.

(Purple Haze said @ #6)
I don't trust anything that involves that many companies. :ponder:

You'd rather be at the mercy of Apple??

I'm definitely supporting this. It's a great colloboration and makes it easy for anyone to download movies, which is the way it should be.

Wait, so I can buy it once, play it anywhere, burn it anywhere, and play it on any device?

This sounds far too logical (and reasonable) to be true with all these countries. :laugh:

So what exactly is the DRM then? I don't understand what they're limiting. Just keeping it from being pirated?

That's why it's great.. the DRM is there so you can't distribute the movie you have or content you get, but that doesn't prevent you from playing it on multiple devices with your ID for example. So in essence it's transparent to you because most devices or services under this standard will play your content regardless what device it is or where it is. You just type in your password (I'm of course simplifying) and you play the content.

It is truly what we needed for all this time, but companies trying to emerge as a winner like Apple did with iTunes made them come up with incompatible and inefficient DRMs that made hell for consumers. This is very similar to PlaysForSure but on a much larger scale and is truly suppose to be the standard that most CE companies and studios and services will support.

The future is bright if this indeed comes to life. It is also a definite beginning of the end of optical media as this is allowing consumers unprecedented flexibility and security that their purchases are always protected and will play anywhere under the standard.

Great stuff.

This is the clear end of optical media. All companies are joining hands to create one effective standard for DRM that will be transparent to the consumer and allow digital downloads to work everywhere.

This was the last piece of the puzzle for digital downloads to break free and be completely mainstream. The ability to play purchased content on any device, from XBOX to PS3 to Zune to Toshiba DVD player.. this marks truly a new era for DRM.

DRM was always bad because it never had all companies work together like this.. everybody had their own technology and it cause havoc. With this, it will be unified and transparent to the consumers. Totally ok!

It is a serpent's nest, where every evil company will bite and try to eat each other.

Apple will (and must) not join this group.

(Galley said @ #1)
That's why I buy CDs. I don't have to deal with DRM garbage.

Presumably this system attempts to offer the best of both worlds. While they would certainly have DRM, it would be purchasable online and they would also offer "buy once, play anywhere" like a real CD. The biggest problem would seem to be that all of your existing material would be incompatible.

(Fred Derf said @ #1.1)

Presumably this system attempts to offer the best of both worlds. While they would certainly have DRM, it would be purchasable online and they would also offer "buy once, play anywhere" like a real CD. The biggest problem would seem to be that all of your existing material would be incompatible.

Perhaps they would honour your previous purchases? Unlikely, but one can hope, and that'd give it a great head start...

(Galley said @ #1)
That's why I buy CDs. I don't have to deal with DRM garbage.

I guess you must've missed that whole Sony rootkit thing, huh?

(Fred Derf said @ #1.1)

Presumably this system attempts to offer the best of both worlds. While they would certainly have DRM, it would be purchasable online and they would also offer "buy once, play anywhere" like a real CD. The biggest problem would seem to be that all of your existing material would be incompatible.

Like the "Play's for Sure?"