In the long run, digital rights management and conditional access for digital content distribution will enlarge and enable the market for digital content, not suppress it, according to ABI Research.
Increased Consumer Acceptance of Digital Rights Management and Conditional
Oyster Bay, NY - July 25, 2006 - In the long run, digital rights management
and conditional access for digital content distribution will enlarge and
enable the market for digital content, not suppress it, according to ABI
'Consider the automotive metaphor,' advises research director Vamsi Sistla.
'At present, consumers of digital media are where the first motorists were
at the beginning of the twentieth century, as the first generation of cars
hit the streets. There were no driver's licenses, license plates, traffic
signals, stop signs, one -way roads, or speeding tickets. As these
'restrictions' were progressively introduced, motorists objected strenuously
to each new limitation on their 'freedom.' Yet today, most acknowledge that
they allow us to enjoy relative safety on the roads.'
When you buy a book or a CD, you can freely lend or give it to somebody
else. For digital media today, that kind of freedom is indeed curtailed by
digital rights management (DRM) and conditional access (CAS). However these
technologies are still in their infancy; they're in a process of evolution
which will eventually result in a balance that preserves as much as possible
of that pre -digital freedom. We will start to see its true shape by the end
of this decade.
For drivers on today's 'information freeway', accountable to no -one, DRM and
CAS licenses seem intrusive, unwarranted and negative. In Europe, proponents
of interoperability and 'access for all' are going so far as to legislate
against licensing models such as Apple iTunes', and to call in the
These attitudes show that the consumer presently enjoys considerable
sympathy: DRM sets limits, so break the DRM. Yet eventually, ABI Research
believes, such protections will be seen as inevitable and necessary to the
smooth functioning of digital entertainment and commerce. The change will be
driven at least in part by the huge recent expansion in the numbers of
content -creators enabled by inexpensive digital equipment and the Internet.
'I feel that as more and more creative people generate digital media and
understand the commercial potential of their productions,' says Sistla,
'attitudes will shift in favor of digital rights management.'
ABI Research has published two studies, 'Conditional
Access and DRM: Focus On CATV, DBS and IPTV
Platforms' and 'Mobile
DRM Market Analysis and Forecasts' which explore these
questions in depth. They form part of the company's Digital
Media Distribution and Management Research Service, and the latter study is
also available through the Mobile
Content Research Service.
Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global
operations supporting annual research programs, intelligence services and
market reports in broadband and multimedia, RFID and M2M, wireless
connectivity, mobile wireless, transportation and emerging technologies. For
information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.