I am deeply gratified to see this development, with electronics manufacturers choosing to service their customers and refusing to be intimidated by the copyright industry:
- Seventeen of the largest computer, consumer electronics and mobile phone companies on Tuesday said they have agreed on common standards to make it easier for consumers to swap digital music and pictures at home. Companies in the Digital Home Working Group include Hewlett-Packard, International Business Machines Corp., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Gateway Inc., Nokia, Sony Corp., Matsushita, Sharp Corp., Samsung Electronics, Thomson and Philips.
“A SEAMLESS ENVIRONMENT for sharing and growing new digital media and content services will make home networking transparent, so consumers can more easily create, manage, access and share digital content,” the group said in a statement.
The first products that are compatible with the new standard will be on the market by the second half of 2004, said Cesar Vorhringer, chief technology officer at Philips’s consumer electronics unit, Europe’s largest consumer electronics group.
....All companies supporting the initiative would support these open standards in their products, alongside their own proprietary technologies if they wish, he said.
....The fact that DRM issues still needed to be sorted out would not mean a slowdown of the rest of the standardization process, because most homes own a lot of digital content that is free from copyright, such as home videos and pictures, he added.
“A large part of content is 'in the clear', and we’ll have to make sure our devices interoperate for that content,” he said. [Reuters]
Regardless of the spin, these last two paragraphs are a very large "kiss my ass" to the copyright industry.