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Summary:

Adobe, with today’s launch of its Flash Media Rights Management Server, is enabling big media companies to put tighter restrictions on their content. The software works with applications built on Adobe AIR, such as the upcoming Adobe Media Player, to extend control of Flash content — […]

Adobe, with today’s launch of its Flash Media Rights Management Server, is enabling big media companies to put tighter restrictions on their content. The software works with applications built on Adobe AIR, such as the upcoming Adobe Media Player, to extend control of Flash content — even after it’s been downloaded. Content owners can set customized restrictions including how long the content can be viewed, whether an ad needs to be watched first, and who can view it.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation isn’t going to like this. It was already up in arms over the existing Flash DRM. From a February EFF blog post:

Instead of an ordinary web download, these programs can use a proprietary, secret Adobe protocol to talk to each other, encrypting the communication and locking out non-Adobe software players and video tools. We imagine that Adobe has no illusions that this will stop copyright infringement–any more than dozens of other DRM systems have done so–but the introduction of encryption does give Adobe and its customers a powerful new legal weapon against competitors and ordinary users through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

  1. This is great news…but, and maybe I’m getting this wrong, there’s still nothing for video delivered with Progressive Download through any Flash Player on the web.

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  2. The future looks good. I’m not a fan of the AMP though.

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  3. Yes there is/will be. Thats exactly what the Flash Media Rights Management Server is suppose to be about..
    But I see you point, does it work outside of Flash-Media-Player. Well you would hope so..

    But then again, I was under the impression the FMS3 was suppose to do progressive download DRM. Its all a little confusing. I plan to set all this stuff up. then I WILL know.
    Even a Adobe guy I spoke to the other day was not sure.

    James

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  4. [...] Adobe Extends Flash DRM to Downloads [NewTeeVee] Adobe is hammering the DRM (Digital Rights Management) tools into the new versions of the Adobe Media Player, making Flash a whole lot less friendly and flexible. (tags: drm flash adobe) addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tamaleaver.net%2F2008%2F03%2F20%2Flinks-for-2008-03-20%2F'; addthis_title = ‘links+for+2008-03-20′; addthis_pub = ‘tamaleaver'; [...]

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  5. I find it very strange that many Bloggers keep reporting that Adobe is introducing DRM into its ECO system and making Flash less usable or less friendly. (as above)

    This is an obvious sign of little understanding of the industry.
    One of the main reasons for DRM going into the Adobe products is because clients have been asking for it. Does it make Adobe/Flash evil for giving clients what they ask for?
    I would admit, they are obviously shaping this to there advantage but that is business. Flash is no LESS useful then it is without it.
    I look at it similar to some one who invents a powerful technology that can be used to help the world out, or could be used for one’s own advantage. DRM is a tool like this. Creating it is not good nor evil. Its how it is used that we should judge.

    James

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  6. @James Gardiner: I’ve no doubt that Adobe is doing this to meet the demand of its clients. I’m not saying that Adobe are evil, but I am suggesting that DRM technologies tend to be vastly overused and prevent uses that would otherwise be possible (and legal) under fair dealing rules in Australia (or fair use in the US).

    It’s not a misunderstanding of how industry works, but rather – in many cases – an understanding of the way that media corporations tend to treat DRM as a holy grail which (while it does prevent piracy in a lot of cases) also is overused and overdetermined in that it makes fair uses and fair dealing almost impossible. (Many countries make cirumventing DRM unlawful, even if that is for fair dealing purpose.)

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  7. [...] ADOBE launched software that offers DRM protection for downloaded Flash files. [...]

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  8. @Lawrence: You are absolutely right…it’s confusing. Actually, from what I understand, to enable Progressive Download DRM for FLV files, you will have to either use the Adobe Media Player (not the web-based Flash Player) or built your own AIR application…

    @Tama: I would have to agree with you. …and meanwhile, here’s what’s happening in other parts of the world: http://www.last100.com/2008/03/19/theyre-not-lying-cbc-to-release-tv-show-for-download-free-legal-and-via-bittorrent/

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  9. @Tama and @Manuel,
    The issue here is not that the incumbent players are clueless and trying to make DRM enforce the unenforceable.

    This may lead to some unfriendly experiences, but So what. Natural selection will bypass this. These actions are not evil (To a degree), they are just those of an industry coping with change. (Well some actions from the incumbents have been evil I have to admit but not all)

    It is likely in the future most content will not have DRM. It simply not worth it. But if content becomes FREE, this = DRM. Long story see my blog post on it at
    http://www.crafted.com.au/blog/2008/03/09/free-digital-media-drm/
    DRM will work for some niche content and derive a better ROI. I an connected to a few projects that only with DRM would they be worth doing. These are very niche content producers so pirating is unlikely to cause to too much issue.

    At the end of the day. If you own content and want to sell it with DRM, it is your choose. And its the choice of the consumer to buy or not buy it.

    James

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  10. [...] is making room for old business models in new technology; they recently announced Digital Rights Management (DRM) integration with their server software. This will allow publishers [...]

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