Digital content protection, part II

Wednesday, 27 August 2003, 2:10 PM EST

Unlike the compact disc, which was created by only two companies, the DVD is a committee horse. Virtually all the current DVD specifications are the result of hard-fought compromises pounded out by the computer, consumer-electronics and content industries. Motivated by the potential for enormous royalties, powerful multinationals competed fiercely at every stage of the effort to promote technologies that incorporate their patents.

Even more contentious was the question of copy protection. Hardware manufacturers would have been happy to simply ignore the issue, but the DAT (digital audiotape) debacle had taught them the folly of butting heads with the content industry.

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