Blog Post

Mobile Music & DRM

Here’s a short article summarizing an interview with Barney Wragg – Vice President of the eLabs arm of Universal Music Group focused on DRM in the mobile space…and he doesn’t appear worried about the current controversy surrounding DRM or the chance the mobile DRM market could become fragmented:

Wragg: We do a technical analysis of each DRM, looking at things like how the security is provided, how the system can be revoked and renewed in the case of an attack and how the overall system’s architected to ensure that there aren’t simple forms of attack and simple forms of leak.

We’re working with O2 and two as yet unannounced operators and the interesting thing about that is you’ve got three different DRMs being used: SDC, Chaoticom and Melodi.

TheFeature: Is that not an issue for you, having to work with different DRM technologies?

Wragg: Not really. In the Internet stage we designed our in-house systems to allow us to do that. We’ve also got a host of deals for mobile products — ringtones, realtones, graphics, wallpaper — and we use a type of DRM that’s appropriate for each product.

Of course, if music doesn’t work across different DRM technologies it means the consumer has to buy two forms of the music with more royalties going to the labels — at least I assume that’s how they see it. Still, as for the possibility of illegal file-sharing using wireless protocols Wragg recognizes that they would mostly get used if there are no legitimate ways to do it. “The challenge for the mobile industry is to get to a position where we can have those attractive, good, legitimate services in place before the illegitimate services get a hold. I think it will happen. I think people will have illegitimate clients for cell phones and they will use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, infrared and cable-to-cable type connections as well as the air interface. I think that will happen. The challenge is to get some good commercial services out there so that people have an alternative and a more attractive alternative from day one.” (from BillboardPostPlay)
Related stories:
Double DRM Dilemma For Mobile Industry
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