Seven major consumer media and technology companies this week formed a consortium set on promoting interoperability between digital rights management technologies, an area where proprietary systems are king.
The Coral Consortium comprises HP, Intertrust Technologies, Philips Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, Sony, and Twentieth Century Fox Film. Intertrust is the only major DRM player involved.
Coral said its goal is to create a common technology framework for content, device and service providers, regardless of the DRM technologies they use, presumably making DRM more palatable for consumers.
Missing from the lineup are Microsoft, RealNetworks, and notably Apple, which has managed to win over the consumer crowd with its iTunes/iPod double-whammy, which employs FairPlay, a closed, proprietary DRM system.
In recent weeks interoperable DRM has started to become a hot button issue, with RealNetworks feeling Apple’s wrath for reverse-engineering FairPlay, and the Open Mobile Consortium coming up with its own set of standards.
Coral has yet to lay its technology cards on the table, but Intertrust, now jointly owned by fellow Coral members Sony and Phillips, is known to be working on interoperable DRM frameworks, having presented a paper on the subject in January.