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DECE consortium slow in drawing ubiquitous standard

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), a consortium aiming to set new standards for the transfer and storage of copyrighted digital content, announced that six new members signed at CES in Las Vegas. But it appears DECE is behind schedule in establishing some of the technical requirements and sorting through some of the business issues that come with trying to establish a standard that everyone involved can agree on.

Deluxe, Panasonic, Samsung, MOD Systems, Sonic Solutions/CinemaNow and Widevine Technologies join a roster that already included many of the prominent names in digital content – Alcatel-Lucent, Best Buy, Cisco Systems, Comcast, News Corp's Fox Entertainment Group, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lions Gate Entertainment, Microsoft, General Electric's NBC Universal, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Philips, Sony, Toshiba, VeriSign, and Time Warner's Warner Bros Entertainment.

Back in September, the consortium said it would make important announcements at CES calling for interoperability of devices and websites, and usage rules that allow consumers to copy content onto household playback devices and to burn their content to physical media. To date, nothing materialized, except the setting up of a website

At Las Vegas, the consortium was to unveil a logo that will be placed on products and websites to let consumers know that those products and services are compatible with DECE standards.

According to Mitch Singer, DECE president, the new digital framework “would turn Apple's ‘closed’ iTunes model on its head. This is very different from the Apple ecosystem."

However, Apple just announced that its iTunes Music Store was going completely DRM-free by the end of the first quarter of the year, though movies and TV shows will still be subject to iTunes DRM, making them only playable on Apple devices. And without Apple’s participation in DECE, its devices will not play content made by DECE members.

Story filed 12.01.09

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