U.K. Film Group, Government Push Widespread DRM

 
 
By Mark Hachman  |  Posted 2005-10-06
 
 
 
LONDON—A report prepared for and endorsed by the British Screen Advisory Council promotes widespread digital rights management programs to manage content, while advising shrinking the "window" between theatrical and DVD releases.

That position was echoed Thursday by the United Kingdoms Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, in a speech scheduled to be delivered to an intellectual-property and media conference here.

Both of the BSACs recommendations will be necessary in a world where video-on-demand services will eventually replace DVD rentals, pay-per-view and premium television, according to the report.

The 53-page document attempts to create a framework for Britains film and television industries to adapt to an evolving consumer-controlled culture, where personal-video recorders and video-on-demand services will allow users to "time shift" content to their own schedules and pluck content from different sources to create their own libraries.

Going forward, the report says, consumers will have increasing control of what they watch, when they watch it, and in what format--on-demand television, DVD, or over the Internet.

While consumers will still watch "live" broadcasts of sporting events and news, PVRs will increasingly be used to "catch up" to the programs, while VOD will be used for archiving.

That will require a rethinking on the part of content industries, which will also come with a price tag—one that will likely be paid by consumers.

"As a final observation, it is worth noting that the increased range of content available, and of new services offering this content, should lead to an increase in total consumer expenditure on audiovisual services, even if demand for traditional services falls to some extent," the report states.

"However, significant new infrastructure costs will need to be recouped by the telecoms and cable companies that are enabling new services such as VOD to be launched, and these costs are likely to be recovered in part within the pricing structures of new audiovisual services. Therefore, it is too early too [sic] assess whether the overall impact of the technological developments discussed in this paper will be a net increase in margins for content creators."

Read the full story on ExtremeDRM.com: UK Film Group, Government Pushes Widespread DRM

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