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The Long Road To Changing Digital Content Rights

Would digital rights management be such a hassle for content owners if the DRM correlated with each user rather than a piece of content distributed by a different provider? Consulting firm Accenture LLC is hoping the answer to that is no, as it works to develop a cross-platform digital rights system that would allow consumers to access content through an unlimited number of devices after paying once. Accenture marketed its idea at the Digital Hollywood conference in Santa Monica, Calif. on Wednesday, saying that if companies don't adopt a similar method then "the consumer will make the decision for them." Presumably this means consumers will turn to piracy until a reasonable DRM system is put into place, because they don't want technology to be mired in proprietary non-transferable formats. Accenture said it would deploy software to identify the consumer rather than the device, and telecom and wireless companies could sort out the billing behind the scenes. Other companies are also pouring money into similar projects to initiate change; telcos have selected companies to build software, servers, storage, content management, network infrastructure, authentication digital rights management and conditional access platforms to aid the process of seamless content and user identification. Says one Accenture executive: "Companies that embrace this disruption will succeed and capture mindshare. Some are marching down the path."

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