|ContentGuard, Inc. has announced that it's restructuring its business
to focus on digital rights management (DRM) standards work, technology
licensing, and intellectual property. ContentGuard's revised strategy will
extend the company's work to establish a rights-language standard for the
digital content industry. By allowing different technology vendors' and
content owners' systems to interoperate, the creation of standards will
accelerate the use of DRM to manage high-value digital content sold over
the Internet or distributed within and between enterprises.
Beginning immediately, ContentGuard will focus on those products directly
related to standards support and intellectual-property licensing. As such,
the company will exit its services business and some other product areas,
scaling down the size of its operations accordingly. ContentGuard will
work with customers affected by the change to help them complete their
transitions with minimal disruption.
Michael Miron, co-chairman and CEO of ContentGuard, said: "The market
for digital content commerce and use of DRM in the enterprise is forecast
to reach $35 billion by 2005" [according to a December 2000 Accenture report].
"However, industry development is being seriously hindered by a lack of
standards to enable participants' systems to work together and create a
seamless experience for both content providers and end-users. The industry
needs to coalesce around a single rights-language specification so our
common interests in growing the industry will not be hindered. Our new
company structure reflects this immediate priority, focusing additional
resources on addressing this issue to speed market growth."
ContentGuard's standards work will concentrate on increasing industry
adoption of the eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML), the rights-specification
language that ContentGuard launched as a potential DRM industry standard
in April 2000. More than 2,500 technology and digital media players have
already licensed XrML, which is based on more than 10 years of pioneering
and patented research at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). According
to the announcement, ContentGuard has been working with several major standards
bodies and intends to submit XrML to them as the most viable XML-based
rights specification language available today.
ContentGuard, Inc., which launched in April 2000, is a joint venture
of Xerox Corp. and Microsoft Corp. [Editor's Note: The Washington Post
has reported that ContentGuard has laid off an undisclosed number of
workers as a result of the restructuring, and now has 30 employees remaining.]
Source: ContentGuard, Inc., Bethesda, MD, 866/248-2734, 650/813-7886;