by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor


Microsoft Corp. announced June 13 two key
Digital Rights Management (DRM) milestones that highlight the
acceptance and adoption of Microsoft’s DRM technologies for audio, video and
eBooks.

First, Windows Media DRM technology has been used in more than
7.5 million transactions for secure music and video, making it the most
widely used technology to date for securely distributing digital media over
the Internet. This data is based on reporting from leading companies,
including DMDsecure, iBEAM Broadcasting Corp., Liquid Audio, On Demand
Distribution (OD2), Reciprocal Inc., and RioPort Inc., that service secure
music and video transactions.

A Microsoft vs. RealNetworks (who boast 200 million RealPlayer users worldwide) rivalry toward secure digital media distribution supremacy seems to be heating up. This announcement came just prior to a RealNetworks June 21 announcement of its RealSystem Media Commerce Suite, a DRM that it said will drive and enable e-commerce in a whole new dimension.

Microsoft also announced that its DRM solution in the eBook industry,
Digital Asset Server, is currently running more than 20 eBookstores
worldwide. This announcement illustrates that both
Windows Media and eBooks DRM have becomeimportant foundations for Web
services that offer consumers immediate access to their favorite music,
video and books.

In August 1999, Windows Media became the first format for streamed and
downloaded audio and video to integrate DRM technology.

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