Securing digital content

Monday, 21 April 2003, 3:16 PM EST

As Microsoft Corp. prepares to release the beta version of its anticipated and controversial Rights Management Services, a small security company has been quietly working on technology that could trump Microsoft's and make it easier for companies to control digital content.

Cryptography Research Inc. has developed a technology that associates security measures with each piece of content instead of using a generic protection scheme for all copies. The security measures are contained in code that runs on a virtual machine inside a playback device.

As the content is decrypted during playback, the virtual machine uses APIs in the playback device to determine whether or how the playback should proceed.

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