Magazine article Information Today

ContentGuard, Inc. Marks Its Spinoff from Xerox with Microsoft Alliance

Magazine article Information Today

ContentGuard, Inc. Marks Its Spinoff from Xerox with Microsoft Alliance

Article excerpt

ContentGuard, Inc., formerly an operating unit of Xerox Corp., has announced that it was recently launched as an independent company. According to the announcement, ContentGuard offers technology, products, and services that manage and protect high-value digital content. Based on pioneering research from Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the ContentGuard solutions offer content owners more control and flexibility over the distribution and use of their content.

Microsoft Corp. and Xerox will collaborate with ContentGuard on key digital-rights-management (DRM) technologies. The three companies will work to improve the distribution of premium digital content, including e-books, documents, music, and video over the Internet, while protecting against unauthorized usage or redistribution. Microsoft has also joined Xerox as a shareholder in ContentGuard.

To accelerate market growth, Content-Guard is announcing the royalty-free licensing of its eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML). This initiative has already received support from 20 industry leaders, including Adobe Systems, Inc.; Barnes & Noble; Glassbook, Inc.; Hewlett-Packard Co.; Lightning Printing, Inc.; Microsoft; Preview Systems; Reciprocal, Inc.; Softlock.com, Inc.; Time Warner Trade Publishing; Thomson Publishing; and Xerox.

"We believe that rights management will become a ubiquitous element of all content exchange, whether for secure e-commerce or for ensuring the persistent protection of high-value sensitive information," said Ranjit Singh, president and COO of ContentGuard.

"Content wants to be free, but content creators want to get paid," said Dick Brass, vice president of technology development at Microsoft and co-chairman of ContentGuard. "ContentGuard's approach to DRM will give consumers greater choices and options for how they purchase and enjoy digital content, while also giving content creators a powerful set of tools for protecting and distributing their works."

Microsoft Reader, a new software product for displaying e-books, will be the first Microsoft product to incorporate the ContentGuard technology when it debuts this summer. According to the announcement, ContentGuard technology will also enhance future releases of Windows Media Player and Windows Media Rights Manager.

"Controlling intellectual property is a major problem facing companies who are moving their business to the Internet. …

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