Sony Chief Admits DRM Held Up Innovation

from the oh,-they-just-realized? dept

Derek Kerton writes “In an unusual, yet surprisingly refreshing move, Ken Kutaragi, President of Sony Computer Entertainment, admitted that Sony made strategic misjudgments when it let its Media division’s DRM zealousness reduce innovation and product flexibility in its consumer electronics divisions. Sony owns Sony Pictures and Entertainment, which contains the former Columbia media house. In this case, Kutaragi was referring to Sony’s use of a proprietary music format with strong DRM called Atrac, which is the only format their mobile players can read, eschewing the wildly popular but less secure MP3 format. Kutaragi said that the spirit of innovation had been “diluted” by the other divisions in the company. Now that’s refreshing. Give the consumer what they want instead of what your sister division wants. Did Sony really think they could drive the world to Atrac? Is that because they’ve had so much success with Memory Stick or Betamax? When is Sony going to stop trying to push their proprietary formats on the world, whether DRM or other? “


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Comments on “Sony Chief Admits DRM Held Up Innovation”

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3 Comments
James Donahue says:

MP3s can be encrypted.

It is the fact that DRM is only in it’s infancy stage. Over time, DRM will emerge and will even encrypt MP3 files, as well as OGGs, WMAs, AAC, and even uncompressed WAV files.

A true secure and popular format would enable consumers the flexibility they need with the media, without the fear of piracy.

Lately, digital fingerprinting is being on it’s infancy stage, and hopefully, in the near future, it will encorporate “fingerprinting” in the music devices and fingerprint-as-you-buy devices which would be invisible to the consumer, yet does not allow consumers to copy files on a device if the watermark on the media does not match the fingerprint on the MP3 player.

And, unlike previous DRM schemes, this DRM scheme will encrypt ANY type of file, including MP3s, WAVs, and others. If it is a digital file, it CAN be encrypted, no matter what format the file is in. Also, this DRM is flexive, so if you convert this file, it will still be wrapped in this DRM scheme, unlike other DRM scheme that cracks when you convert.

Ivan Sick says:

Re: MP3s can be encrypted.

Since you say it’s “invisible to the consumer,” I assume you are not talking about literal fingerprinting, where the user must submit physical proof that he is the purchaser of the file in question. Literal fingerprinting is not too terrible an idea (if the potential privacy issue is avoided), but any time DRM imposes a restriction concerning what device can be used to access the file, it’s worthless. I’m willing, and I think most people are, to pay for music/movies/whatever. But if I can’t then take those files and put them on some other media for use in another device, I’m not going to bother, convergence and home media networks be damned.

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