MPAA ''Committed To Fair Use, Interoperability, DRM''

The MPAA is committed to fair use, interoperability, and DRM, according to a report by Arstechnica. The statements, made by MPAA boss Dan Glickman this week at a LexisNexis conference on DRM, indicate a migration of thinking by movie studios.

Amongst the ideas proposed by the MPAA was a plan to let consumers rip DVDs for use on home media servers and iPods. However, Ars notes that the plan is not without caveats, and the plan is still in its infancy. For one, it appears as though the movie studios would want Digital Rights Management (DRM) applied to any ripped movies.

I asked him specifically about DVDs, which are currently illegal to rip under the DMCA, and how the law would square with his vision of allowing consumers to use such content on iPods and other devices. "You notice that I said 'legally' and in a protected way," Glickman responded, suggesting that some form of DRM would still be required before the studios would sign off on such a plan. He noted, however, that no specific plans have been made.

However, the MPAA does have its sights on making DRM more inter-operable.

In his speech, Glickman said that the industry needs "a collective philosophical commitment" to move forward on issues of interoperability and authorized use, and said that the MPAA has now made that commitment. He called on other companies in the industry to sit down and work out a solution. Though he never mentioned Apple by name, it's clear that the Cupertino-based company was number one on the list of companies that need to get involved; whether interoperable DRM and legitimate DVD ripping actually mesh with Apple's own business priorities is another question, though.

Apple recently made a deal with EMI for DRM-less music tracks to be sold through the iTunes Store. However, many analysts believe that such a deal is unlikely to succeed with movie studios. While Apple has signed up a number of movie studios to provide content for the iTunes Store, only Disney-owned companies provide new releases, perhaps highlighting the work still left to be done in the online movie market.

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