The Digital Media Project

 

The DMM FAQs

(2003/09/30)

 

About the DMM

  1. What are the motivations for publishing the DMM?
  2. Since there are an increasing number of successful examples of digital media, why not leave this to market forces?
  3. How do you define Digital Media experience?
  4. Why doesn't the DMM mention established players such as Kazaa, Macrovision or Microsoft?

About the DMP

  1. What does the DMP intend to accomplish?
  2. What is the timeline of the DMP?
  3. Can results be achieved soon enough to be effective?
  4. Will the DMP become a standardization body?
  5. Why isn't DMP being done by an existing organisation (MPEG, etc.)?
  6. Will the DMP be a consortium for integration of existing technologies?
  7. What if gaps (there are many) are found in technologies enabling critical applications?
  8. Technology development and integration requires lots of resources
  9. Will resources be obtained by DMP based on some funding sources and made available to individuals participating in the project?
  10. What about the intellectual property issue in participation in DMP itself?

About DMP DRM

  1. How is this DMP DRM platform different from requiring all computers to be built with copy-protection in the hardware?
  2. To be effective, won't any DMP DRM have to invade cherished privacy rights?
  3. Will DMP DRM lead to another format war?
  4. Will DMP DRM end digital piracy?
  5. How would DMP DRM coexist with open source initiatives such as Linux or RealNetworks Helix?
  6. Will any technology developed be readily available to developers?

About DMP devices

  1. What new kinds of end-user devices is the DMM proposing?
  2. The DMM refers to a single kind of device, so what about home networks?

About DMP DM on a global scale

  1. Will DMP DM on a global scale repress free expression?
  2. Will DMP DM on a global scale make content better or cheaper?

About the Digital Media Manifesto

What are the motivations for publishing the DMM?

There is an incredible wealth of technologies out there that should let creators express themselves better, end users enjoy content better and business players offer better products and services. By and large this is largely not happening. We are in a stalemate where everybody loses. The DMM analyses the problem and identifies some major actions that should break the stalemate.

Since there are an increasing number of successful examples of digital media, why not leave this to market forces?

There are indeed successful examples. DVD is one of them, but this is, in a sense, a new version of the video cassette or the Laser Disc. Today millions of users are enjoying a radical new experience - the "Digital Media Experience". But those offering these great examples of a great user experience do so losing money or by using other people's assets

How do you define Digital Media Experience?

The Digital Media Experience is enabled by the latest Information and Communication Technologies and has given people new ways to create, package, distribute, re-purpose, share, personalise and consume Digital Media Content.

Why doesn't the DMM mention established players such as Kazaa, Macrovision or Microsoft?

Because there is no need to do so. These companies are engaged in the business of Digital Media and related technologies today and they will certainly benefit from the work of the DMP when this will produce its technical specifications, recommended practices and recommended actions.

About the Digital Media Project

What does the DMP intend to accomplish?

The Digital Media Manifesto identifies the need for coordinated policy and technical actions. The policy actions include reviewing the Digital Media standardisation process. The technical actions require the development of specifications for interoperable Digital Rights Management (DRM) platforms, technically open to value-chain players, and for interoperable end-user devices, and the development of recommended practices for end-to-end conformance assessment.

What is the timeline of the DMP?

The DMP is planned to begin its activity in January 2004. It will have two major threads, one on policy actions and another on technical actions. Some of the policy actions (such as mapping rights traditionally enjoyed by end users to the Digital Media space) will have a direct influence on the technical work. The full technical specifications will be published after two years. However, a thorough discussion on the DMP has not been carried out yet, as participants have concentrated on the DMM.

Can results be achieved soon enough to be effective?

The DMP timeline is well-matched to the time it will actually take for companies to redesign a value chain that sees interoperable DRM as the enabling factor. DRM is not a technology that can be introduced in a piece-meal fashion. Whenever it is introduced in one point of the value network, its effects are felt in other points.

Will the DMP be a standardisation body?

Not in the way that, say, MPEG is. We have plenty of technologies already, even though it cannot be excluded that DMP will find the need of some additional technologies.

Why isn't DMP being done by an existing organisation (MPEG, etc.)?

MPEG is a body that collects the best experts related to digital audio and video. Because of that MPEG is very good at developing technologies. The purpose of the DMP is not to duplicate any of the things that MPEG already does well.

Will the DMP be a consortium for integration of existing technologies?

This is probably a fair description of the DMP role. On the other hand it can be expected that integration of technologies will not be the only mission.

What if gaps (there are many) are found in technologies enabling critical applications?

As a rule, a body capable and willing to develop the necessary technologies will be found. In case there will not be any, the DMP may develop the technology by itself

Technology development and integration requires lots of resources

This is very true for technology development, less so for technology integration. The DMP will concentrate on the latter

Will resources be obtained by DMP based on some funding sources and made available to individuals participating in the project?

This is not the model commonly adopted by forums like the DMP. Typically DMP members will make their resources available to the DMP for the purpose of reaching the objectives of the DMP.

What about the intellectual property issue in participation in DMP itself?

This is a well-known issue in forums like the DMP. The proposed DMP statutes contain provisions for it. This is certainly an issue to be discussed with great care.

About DMP DRM

How is this DMP DRM platform different from requiring all computers to be built with copy-protection in the hardware?

Having security technologies implanted in the end-user device is an important element to realise the DMM vision, but the DMP DRM platformit is not just that. As the word "platform" implies, there is a need for security technologies extending across the value chain. To those with a negative reaction to any DRM, we express our hope that a correctly designed platform will enable very good things to happen. Much of the concern over DRM has been caused by design flaws in specific products magnified by the worry public authorities might mandate badly designed security technology.

To be effective, won't any DMP DRM have to invade cherished privacy rights?

The mapping of end-user rights, such as privacy, to the Digital Media space is one of the policy actions identified by the DMM. This mapping should be accomplished in such a way that traditionally enjoyed rights should be upheld unless they seriously affect the key functionalities of the DMP DRM platform.

Will DMP DRM lead to another format war?

The war is being waged while we speak. The purpose of the DMP is to stop this war, or at least create a land with no such war. The DMM identifies "interoperable end-user devices" as a major technical action.

Will DMP DRM end digital piracy?

The purpose of the DMP is not to fight digital piracy. The purpose is to create the conditions that will entice end-users to financially support a fuller Digital Media experience that is properly priced in all its components, legitimate and comparable to the convenience of Digital Media that is widely used today. We believe that this will remove many of the incentives that exist today for digital piracy.

How would DMP DRM coexist with open source initiatives such as Linux or RealNetworks Helix?

From what can be seen today there is not going to be a direct relationship between Linux and the DMP. RealNetworks Helix may be one of the solutions considered in the technical work, if this will be proposed.

Will any technology developed be readily available to developers?

DMP will produce technical specifications. It can be expected that those specifications require the use of IPR. The recognised practice of standards bodies is to make sure that license of any patented technology required for implementing the standard can be obtained at RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms.

About DMP devices

What new kinds of end-user devices is the DMM proposing?

The DMM proposes to make possible the implementation of the model that existed since audio and visual media were first invented: end-users buy devices in the open market. This is the model of radio and television, audio and video recorders, CD, DVD, DAB. It is the model that eventually has been adopted for the UK Digital Terrestrial Television, the model of the mobile telephony market and the model of the PC.

The DMM refers to a single kind of device, so what about home networks?

The physical infrastructure of the home network is of no concern to the DMP, but devices on it are. Of course we are not talking of a unique device. The competition that will be created around end-user devices will produce lots of different models. The point of the DMM, though, is that there should not be a need for an end-user to buy two different devices for, say, music just because one music provider uses one protection technology and another music provider another.

About DMP DM on a global scale

Will DMP Digital Media on a global scale repress free expression?

Use of protection technology should be the result of a free choice, not an obligation. The ability to forward one's message to billions of people - an ability supported by the existence of interoperable end-user devices - will give humans an ability to make themselves heard and seen as never before.

Will DMP DM on a global scale make content better or cheaper?

Digital technologies cannot make creative a person who is not, but they can offer more tools to let a creative person do a better job.

The elements concurring in setting the price of something are manifold. The DMP will help making distribution of content more secure - thanks to the interoperable DRM platform - and more affordable - thanks to the availability of end-user devices in the open market. Recommended practice for end-to-end conformance will help decrease the costs of transactions between value-chain players.