Report: Studios want interoperable DRM

Sony Pictures is pushing a plan that would create a system that would allow movies to play on multiple DRM schemes.

Most of the largest motion picture studios are backing a plan that would create interoperability among digital rights management schemes.

TechCrunch is reporting that Sony Pictures is behind the plan that has the support of most of the top film companies--other than those backed by Walt Disney. A Sony spokesman could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

According to Michael Arrington, the plan calls for "a set of policy decisions and a software and services framework that will allow interoperability of various formats and DRM schemes that are currently splintering the market."

The plan also calls for a neutral party to manage a central registry where users would register their devices. Movies purchased from participating services would then play on devices from participating manufacturers.

OK, while acknowledging I haven't heard all the details, the plan at this point sounds complicated and it also calls for competitors to cooperate. This is not an easy thing in Hollywood.

I'm always skeptical of any proposition that requires the studios to agree on standards. Hollywood should also learn from the music industry and abandon DRM now. Consumers have already rendered a verdict on DRM: death.

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