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Disney’s new chest could hold your media purchases.

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This is pretty interesting.  Engadget posted a story today on a new type of digital rights management (DRM) being developed by Disney and Apple.  Apparently, they’re working on a system that stores information from your media purchases in a repository that will provide you with instant access on a number of formats (they provide examples like on-demand cable and mobile phones).  This system, called Keychest, will also work with Blu-Ray disc purchases since most Blu-Ray players can be connected to the Internet.  Disney is expected to talk more about Keychest next month.

While I’m going to reserve judgment about Keychest until I hear more about it, this idea has some merit.  I’m not a fan of DRM, but this sounds like a good way to approach purchasing content.  Instead of paying money for a disc or a download, you could instead pay for the movie itself and have access to it on any format you want.  This is what we should have done a long time ago, so we’ll have to see how this all plays out.


4 responses »

  1. I think it’s a great idea, I’m so tired of my kids scratching up the dvds and I have to re-buy them!

  2. I like the sounds of it, too. I want to hear more about it before I make a judgment on it. It would be awesome if I could buy a DVD and have access to it from services like iTunes – without buying it twice!

  3. I am also intrigued. I’m not so much not a fan of DRM, but I’m definitely not a fan of how I’ve seen it used so far — IE to prevent content users from exercising all of the rights they’ve purchased (as opposed to protecting the content owner by preventing users from exercising rights they have NOT purchased). Basically, if I pay a dollar for a song, it’s mine to copy as many times as I want to as many formats as I want, and to play as many times as I want, forever. If you want to limit those rights in some way (IE only play on certain devices, or only make a handful of copies), then that’s fine, but only charge me the nickel or dime that those rights are worth. Don’t try to charge me full price and then limit my access.

    My only concern, frankly, is Apple’s involvement. I know they have their loyalists, and have high customer satisfaction. They’ve had people line up overnight to buy $600 phones, so they must be doing something right. But their reputation for lack of openness precedes them. What I guess I’m saying is I’m hopeful, but I’ll believe it (a fair and open approach to DRM) when I see it.

    • These are pretty much my thoughts in a nutshell, and I agree with everything you said. Keychest could be wildly successful if it provides consumers with a way to access the media they’ve already purchased anywhere they want. To be perfectly honest, I would say that most attempts at piracy arise because people are tired of being forced to pay yet again for media they already own in one way or another. I would love to see my whole library of DVDs transferred into iTunes (or whatever media player you use) without paying $10-20 to purchase the movie again. That mentality is anti-consumer.

      The one thing I will say for Apple (and I usually don’t apologize for them) is that DRM in iTunes originally arose because record labels were scared of rampant piracy. DRM was a way to assuage those fears. Since then, thankfully, DRM has been dropped from iTunes music. Everything else from Apple is completely closed. But I see their involvement in this whole thing as a way to incorporate Keychest into a service like iTunes (or AppleTV or whatever is coming next).

      What do you think?


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