Hewlett-Packard Co. took several steps forward in enforcing digital rights management on consumer devices Tuesday, licensing Intel Corp.s DRM scheme and co-developing a similar technology with Royal Philips Electronics NV.
In all, HP licensed Intels high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) technology, to be used for transmitting content to wired displays throughout the home. HP also joined the Content Management Licensing Authority, which recently rolled out a second-generation DRM scheme for protecting content in cell phones and other wireless-enabled devices. The joint work with Philips will be used to protect content being recorded on DVD-Rs and other devices.
In all, the announcements are consistent with HPs stance on DRM protection, which CEO Carly Fiorina wholeheartedly adopted in a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
In it, Fiorina pledged to uphold the so-called "broadcast flag" standard being pushed by the Federal Communications Commission. Under that rule, users would be forbidden from copying protected, flagged content to an external device. The FCC is currently inviting comments from interested parties on the proposed rule change.
"From creation to consumption, HP has deep experience and insight in the technology used to produce and distribute digital music, movies, TV and photographs," Vikki Pachera, vice president of global alliances and business development at HP, said in a statement. "The three initiatives announced today extend our leadership in the digital entertainment market to provide a powerfully simple, compelling and affordable experience that is supported by a fair business model for content creators."
HPs moves also cast a wide net over the technologies used in the home. Intels HDCP technology protects copyrighted content passing over DVI or HDMI cables to compliant displays. Content passed wirelessly throughout the home to mobile devices would be protected by the CMLAs own DRM standard. Finally, if a user wished to record protected content to a recordable DVD drive, the technology designed by HP and Philips would prevent him from doing so.
Currently, the HP-Philips DRM technology is only being applied to a subset of recordable DVDs, specifically the DVD+R/RW single- and dual-layer formats. However, the two companies said the technology could be applied to other formats, including other optical storage formats as well as the "unidirectional" cable formats being developed by Cable Television Laboratories Inc., an industry standards body.