Digital Home Working Group: “Share Content Anywhere, On Any Device”

Craig Barrett, CEO if Intel, is as annoyed as you are at the often badly implemented restrictions preventing people from using and sharing media on different devices. As part of the Digital Home Working Group (DHWG), due to publish their standards specification in Q2, Intel have come out against inflexible, confusing and unfair DRM programmes in the market, or in development.

Of course, much of the timing and pitch of the Intel/DHWG rumblings will be because they have a set of standards to plug, but they do have a point given the draconian DRM restrictions placed on users.

Ironically, DRM restrictions often make it harder to move or use the media that customers have actually paid for – an inconvenience that provokes some users into acquiring cracked or unsecured versions of media and files.

“The basic concept of the DHWG is the ability to use that content anytime, anywhere within your home once you’ve purchased it.” said Barrett.

Formed in 2003, the DHWG features more than a hundred other members, including Microsoft, Nokia and Sony. If they all agree on their set of standards, then adoption should not be an issue.

Hopefully the new standards will protect the content producers and artists whilst giving consumers the ability to use licensed content fairly.

Digital Home Working Group

DHWG’s chairman Scott Smyers: “The DHWG is open to all players.” (Downloadable WMV, interestingly enough)

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?