RealNetworks yesterday unveiled its latest digital rights management (DRM) system, designed to protect manufacturers' copyright across a wide variety of media delivery formats.
Revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the "format-agnostic" Helix DRM system offers protection to MP3, AAC and AMR audio formats as well as RealNetworks' own RealAudio and RealVideo. It also protects Mpeg-4 and H.263 video coded data.
RealNetworks says Helix DRM is the first time a single DRM can be used for multiple platforms and formats.
"Until today secure digitally delivered content has been a ball of confusion," Rob Glaser, founder and chief executive at RealNetworks, said.
"Consumer electronics manufacturers have been forced to integrate a new media player and DRM for every secure format they wish to support. Content owners have not had a clear path for delivering their content to secure consumer devices," he added.
The move by Seattle-based RealNetworks marks a fresh stage in the battle to dominate the market for digital content delivery.
It comes just one day after Microsoft's attempt to woo consumer electronics firms by unveiling licensing fees for its Windows Media 9 streaming media technology running on non-Windows platforms.
Analysts have welcomed RealNetworks' multi-format DRM system, predicting that it will prove attractive to media publishers and encourage distribution of video on the still-emerging Mpeg-4 standard.
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