Researchers are developing advanced technical solutions to offer multimedia content owners the same security protections available for other electronic information. Core technologies being deployed include cryptography (encryption, digital signatures), identity management, robust implementations, rights expression languages and media formatting.
A DRM system, which builds upon these core technologies, is a collection of techniques for managing ownership and usage rights associated with digital media content. Unfortunately, different digital media networks (such as those run by Microsoft, Apple and mobile phone companies) have different DRM systems.
That makes it hard, if not impossible, to transfer protected multimedia content across the systems -- the right to play content on one system (i.e., iTunes) does not imply the right to play on a device that belongs to another system (i.e., a multimedia-enabled mobile phone).
HP Labs recognizes this interoperability problem and is a leading technical contributor to the Coral Consortium -- a widely supported industry group developing an open technology framework for DRM interoperability.