Sun Microsystems Inc. weighing in on the fractious issue of protecting copyrighted digital content, on Sunday announced a project it calls the Open Media Commons initiative aimed at creating an open-source, royalty-free digital-rights management standard.The Open Media Commons outlines its goals:
* Specify open, royalty-free digital rights management and codec standards.The particular project developing an open-source DRM solution is Project DReaM.
* Promote the creation, duplication and distribution of digital content and ensure that creators and owners get compensated.
* Collaborate with like-minded open-source communities.
* Influence standards organizations.
Jonathan Schwartz, President and COO of Sun, announced the launch of the initiative yesterday at the Progress & Freedom Foundation's Aspen Summit:
Schwartz announced the Open Media Commons initiative during his keynote speech that marked the opening of PFF's Aspen Summit, the premiere gathering for policymakers, academia and industry leaders in the technology community. Schwartz began his remarks with his observation of the present shift from the information age to a "participation age." This shift to "an age where individuals are creating and supplying the news as much as they are consuming it," he explained, has been brought about by the multitude of devices available that are used to share and gather information. Schwartz explained that digital rights management must adapt to "participation age" by being independent from device, media and business models.More: Slashdot and CIO Today.
Update: More at The 463: Inside Tech Policy (blogging from the Aspen Summit).
Update (Aug. 24, 2005): The EFF responds, asserting that the Open Media Commons is more like a gated community:
Using "commons" in the name is unfortunate, because it suggests an online community committed to sharing creative works. DRM systems are about restricting access and use of creative works.Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing writes:
DRM is supposed to keep users from manipulating their players. Open source is supposed to encourage users to manipulate and modify their players. They are utterly incompatible.Update (Aug. 29, 2005): Audio [mp3] and Video [rm] of Schwartz's Announcement.
More: More on Sun's Open Source DRM DReaM.