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Wednesday, August 07, 2002
SONY announces "OpenMG X" - Digital Rights Management and Distribution Technology...


Sony Corporation today announced "OpenMG X", a digital rights management and distribution technology which is utilized for various types of products and devices. This technology will play a key role as the market for music and movie content downloaded via the Internet expands.

"OpenMG X" flexibly adapts to the distribution of content to PCs, as well as services which distribute content directly to AV and mobile devices. With this technology, the usage conditions for content can be controlled from the distributor's end and hence, content distribution can be secured from the beginning to the end of the service. This technology will be promoted widely to music labels and other music/content distribution companies to use as a core technology for protecting their content.

In future, the following capabilities will be required for DRM (Digital Rights Management) in expanding the digital content distribution business.

1. Flexibility to accommodate various distribution methods, such as the Internet and packaged media
2. Adoption to various content (music, video, etc.)
3. Installation not only on PCs, but also on networked devices such as PlayStation 2, AV devices, and mobile devices

Therefore, Sony has created "OpenMG X", a DRM technology which meets the requirements above and which provides total support from the content distributors' side to the end-users' devices.

"OpenMG X" consists of the following software modules;
1. An encoding module which adds digital rights management information, such as the number of times content was copied or played, to music/movie content and converts them into code at the distributors' end.
2. A server module which distributes digital rights management information on content to the users' end.
3. Client module for developing application software compatible with "OpenMG X" Sony has put the client module (#3) into practice and created "MAGIQLIP", the network music player for PC.

"OpenMG X" will be applicable with a widening variety of network connected devices, including PCs and OpenMG related products such as Memory Stick products and Net MD products that have already been sold more than 10 million units worldwide, as well as PlayStation 2 which has been sold more than 30 million units worldwide.

This will provide content holders and distributors with the bigger opportunities to widen the ways of secure content distribution to various devices while consumers will enjoy more entertaining and exciting content, which will enlarge and vitalize the entire digital content distribution market.

Label Gate Co. Ltd, will soon start a new music distribution service compatible with MAGIQLIP, using "OpenMG X" technology. Furthermore, in the United States, pressplay and other companies who distribute music over the Internet are considering future distribution services which utilize "OpenMG X".

Sony believes in "OpenMG X" as an open platform technology that should support the secure distribution of content, and we are now considering licensing this technology to hardware manufacturers and software vendors.

As both a hardware manufacturer and content/service provider, Sony aims to connect content producers and end users in providing range of services that distribute high-value content in a secure environment.

Sony's Digital Rights Management Technology Efforts
Sony has been a leader in creating various technologies ("MagicGate", "OpenMG") which protect content copyright by preventing illegal copies being made on the end-user's devices. We have introduced a number of products, compatible with these technologies, to the market.

In 1999, we developed a technology called "MagicGate", which is used to mutually authenticate PCs and portable audio players and to prevent illegal copying when contents are transferred from one to the other, using the semiconductor recording media, "Memory Stick". Sony has commercialized several products including the Network Walkman which are compatible with this technology.

At the same time, "OpenMG Jukebox", a content compression, management, and playback technology installed in PCs, has been developed to restrict illegal copying of music content from CDs and the Internet. This application is pre-installed in VAIO and is compatible with Sony's portable audio players.

Furthermore, in May 2001, Sony announced "OpenMG Light", a digital rights management and distribution system for mobile products such as cellular phones and PHS phones. Sony also aims to energize the music download service market with "Net MD", a system which transfers music content from PCs to MD players through a high speed USB cable, while restricting illegal copying of music content.


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