In case you have any doubt Adobe is serious about dominating the web video space, this from StreamingMedia.com:
Adobe today announced the availability of its Flash Media Rights Management Server, a product that runs on Windows Server 2003 and Red Hat Linux and offers content protection and business rules for playback and repurposing of offline content.
The Rights Management Server is designed to sit alongside the Flash Media Streaming Server or Flash Media Interactive Server and protect streaming content. The company is positioning Adobe Flash Media Rights Management Server as a way to “protect and controls media content downloaded in FLV (Spark or VP6 codec) or MPEG4 (H.264 codec) format and played back on local desktop.
The full press release from Adobe is here. DRM for offline content isn’t new. Apple implements it with every music purchase, but Adobe’s approach gives the content holder more options. The DRM can be as restrictive as the content owner wants. Maybe reports of DRM’s demise are premature.
Now things get really interesting. TiVo’s announcement to extend TiVo ToGo to iPod and PSP transfers is exciting enough, but imagine if the commercials could be zapped along the way. It’s probably something that can be done fairly easily in software. Broadcast television signals include closed captions. There’s always a break in the captions when the system goes to commericals. The trick is figuring our which new caption pulse represents the restart of the show and not just another commerical.
And TiVo’s answer to DRM:
To discourage abuse or unlawful use of this feature, TiVo intends to employ “watermark” technologies on programs transferred to a portable device using the TiVo ToGo feature that would enable tracking of the account from which a transferred program originated.
I like it. Don’t put the stuff on BitTorrent and you have nothing to worry about. Of course Apple won’t be thrilled. Those $1.99 episodes of Lost start looking expensive. When the feature ships I will probably switch from my cable company-supplied DVR (with not as good as TiVo functionality to begin with) to the standalone TiVo product.