On the opening day of the VON conference, Bram Cohen (the founder of BitTorrent) was among several others who spoke out against digital rights management software and specifically the implementation of it in Microsoft Windows, saying it is slowing the shift of video to Internet. "We've got a problem we share with everyone. Content owners want a DRM, consumers know what a DRM is" and they don't like it, said Cohen. "We are using Windows DRM because it is the only solution that has been vetted widely, but we are not happy with how it affects playback from a technology point of view, it sometimes makes playback not work." Nevertheless, Cohen, who claims BitTorrent (San Francisco) has the largest catalog of digital video now on the Web, expressed confidence the Internet will become the primary source for video in the future. BitTorrent has several projects in the works including a new product to let businesses distribute content, an ad-supported video service and a streaming video capability.
Separately, Network2, a video Web site started by VON conference founder Jeff Pulver, has submitted a petition to the Federal Communications Commission asking that Internet video be exempted from existing cable and broadcast regulations as well as any new rulings. Pulver also announced the Video on the Net Alliance, a new advocacy group to promote the interests of Internet video. "The nascent video on the Net industry must learn, and learn quickly, how to engage policymakers and speak with a unified and consistent voice, or rules will be set for this emerging industry by those who might not know what policies would best advance Internet video," said Jonathan Askin, co-founder of the alliance. However, several other panellists said it is unrealistic to expect the Internet will steer clear of future restrictions in areas such as universal services and government access. "We can no longer operate under the myth that the Internet is unregulated," said Robert Pepper, a senior manager of technology policy for Cisco Systems.
News source: InformationWeek