Unlocking The iPod? Rights vs Content

I am not sure this would happen as smoothly as this B2.0 story on commerce/rights vendor Navio makes it out to be…but at least now we know what the company is doing with the whopping $24.5 million it raised late last year (total funding about $38 million).
The premise: Hollywood studios and record labels already have the rights to their libraries of movies and songs. Rather than haggle with them over rights, why not just let them sell their libraries themselves? And if it is to iPods, all the better. So Navio’s technology will enable seperation of rights from the content piece..by the end of June, Navio plans to include software that lets its customers offer copy-protected videos that will play on iPods.
It has been working with Fox Sports Mobile, Walt Disney and Atom Entertainment, among others, on this and other digital content sales.
Again, I’m skeptical…RealNetworks tried to reverse-engineer Apple DRM with its Harmony initiative and nothing really happened. And not to say any other vendor can’t work this out…it is all technicaly feasible. The devil is in the rights details, not technologies.
Plus another half-myth: that iPod is a closed ecosystem…well, don’t buy from stuff from media companies. Use eMusic for music (MP3 format) or any other indie music site, or podcasts or any other open-format content and you can fill up your iPod all you want.


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