NEW YORK—While DRM vendors aim to protect the rights of content creators, some of them seem to spend more time and money protecting their own rights.
Microsofts settlement with Intertrust over DRM patents this year clears up only one of several digital rights management patent disputes that are currently hindering the growth of the market.
Uncertainty about licensing requirements remains a wild card among potential DRM licensees. At Wednesdays DRM Strategies Conference, a panel of experts examined the scope of the problem.
One issue, according to Dr. Willms Buhse, Director of Products & Marketing at CoreMedia, a systems integrator from Hamburg, Germany, is the fact that the people who create DRM technology naturally become sensitive to the value of intellectual property.
That sensitivity can generate an exceptional vigilance about documenting and enforcing their own rights. The result is something of a licensing stalemate between owners and vendors of various rights management technologies.
One case in point is the standoff between the Open Mobile Alliance, an association of mobile technology vendors, and MPEG LA, a private licensing organization that represents many technology patent owners as well as the well-known MPEG license owner (MPEG LA is a distinct organization from the MPEG standards body). Recent negotiations between the two groups have bogged down over issues of pricing.