By Chris Scott Barr
Technology is both a wonderful and frustrating thing. On one hand, it is always evolving and bringing us new features in a better, smaller package. Unfortunately as the new comes out, the old becomes obsolete. The easiest example of this would be movies. When the DVD came out it had far superior quality to the older VHS. Now it’s difficult to even find a VCR to play those old tapes. Thankfully Blu-ray players are backwards-compatible, but what about the next leap in technology? Well Disney and Apple think they have a solution.
Eventually we are going to get to a point where media is almost completely distributed digitally. Music is slowly getting there, and movies will begin catching up. But when you start distributing movies digitally, there becomes an issue of licensing and DRM. Apple and Disney have teamed up to create “Keychest.”
Essentially Keychest is a distributed content ownership model that would allow you to play content that you download on a variety of devices without any fuss. Essentially you could download a movie on your PC and be able to play it on your phone, game console, portable media player, etc. You would be able to do this without having to worry about ripping the DVD, you could simply activate a key that comes with your movie.
Yes, this is DRM. However, it sounds like the right kind of DRM (if there really is such a thing). As long as they aren’t going to tie you down to very specific hardware, it could turn out alright. It will be interesting to watch this develop, but I’m still wary of any sort of DRM.