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Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem Sounds Better Than Its Name


By: Spacelab Research Staff


What would you say if I told you that a large chunk of the media industry has been looking at a modern approach to making its content available, that avoids all of the mistakes that they've made over the last 10 years in terms of accessibility? I'll wait for you to stop laughing before I answer.


It's true. After a long decade of losing customers, the industry has put together a group of retailers, movie studios, electronics manufacturers and service providers to come up with a complex idea of how to make this happen. It's called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem.


According to a story in Reuters, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE for those of us who don't want to type it out every time it gets mentioned, will let us buy and use movies, tv shows and music in a way that connects all of the ways in which we use it. This means interoperability.


Once paid for, a person could copy a piece of media to any kind of device they want, like an MP3 player, a digital video recorder, or a computer. It gets past the old idea of one copy = one payment, and evolves to one payment, multiple ways to use. There's also options for using the content on the web, in the form of web sites and personal storage.


The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem is more of a standard with rules than anything else, but it could open up the floodgates somewhat and allow us to buy once, use anywhere, and comply with the law rather than having to run away from it. What has yet to be defined is what the "rules" of usage are.


"We will be developing a ... specification that services and device makers can license. They can use the logo to associate their device, knowing that when the consumer goes to buy the content, they know it will play," DECE President Mitch Singer said when speaking to Reuters.


This of course also means that the closed ecosystem idea of Apple's iTunes becomes a relic of the past. iTunes wouldn't look as revolutionary in that environment, it would look old and limited in options, forcing people to buy their content but only keep it on Apple products. As of right now, Apple is not onboard with the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem but could be eventually.


"This is very different from the Apple ecosystem," Singer said. "We encourage Apple to join the consortium. We don't ever anticipate Apple going away or this consortium replacing it." As of right now, Apple, Samsung and Dell are not included in the ecosystem.


Once called Open Market as an idea put out by Sony, it looks as if the media industry has grown weary of their approach to digital rights management and lack of options that consumers were interested in.


One could easily reason that a major contributor to all of the industry's troubles has been the reluctance to "jump in" to the new century and all of the new opportunities. With both feet firmly planted in the last century, they've tried to dictate an approach rather than have a dialogue with their consumers, and tried to implement solutions that benfited them at the expense of the consumer.


Now they're looking at things differently. How differently has yet to be seen.

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