Stephen Shankland's CNET article on Sun's Open Media Commons is also worth reading. Among the points made is that Sun intends to creat a standard that is royalty-free because it gets around the variou s DRM patents belonging to InterTrust, ContentGuard, and MPEG LA. Designing around patents is not impossible, but given the numerous patent claims granted to a variety of companies--including Microsoft--it may prove difficult to accomplish without introducing serious inefficiencies and/or without omitting important capabilities. Snippets:
"There are a small number of companies that are presenting themselves as tollgates to the management of digital rights," Schwartz said in an interview. "The Dream DRM solution will bypass the InterTrust and ContentGuard and MPEG LA patents, so that when your child grows up they won't have to pay a buck to watch a home movie...."
Sun has been working on DRM since at least 2002, when Chief Executive Scott McNealy first spoke of his aspirations in that area. During that time, some DRM technologies have become dominant. For example, Apple Computer's iTunes music store works tightly with its iPod music player, and Microsoft employs another DRM in its Windows Media Player software.