RealNetworks plans to hit the CES trade show floor Thursday with a new Helix DRM digital rights management technology touting support for the popular (and competing) MP3 and MPEG-4 formats, among others.
Helix DRM replaces the companys Media Commerce Suite (MCS), which provided DRM only for RealAudio and RealVideo formats, and is part of RealNetworks" ambitious open-source push for adoption among content producers and consumer electronics manufacturers.
RealNetworks VP of media systems Dan Sheeran told internetnews.com the decision to support competing formats with a DRM product would let content owners, for the first time, deliver secure content to any PC or non-PC device using a single DRM and a single engine to support all formats.
As with many undertakings by Real, the latest strategy shift puts the company nose-to-nose with Microsoft, which has its own DRM product for its proprietary Windows Media format. Sheeran described Microsofts DRM suite as "a distasteful offering" because it forced media and consumer electronic companies into using only the Windows Media format.