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Flash memory makers team up to protect HD content on SD cards

by Steven Williamson on 20 December 2011, 12:35

Tags: Panasonic (TYO:6752), Toshiba (TYO:6502), Sony (NYSE:SNE), SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK), Samsung (005935.KS)

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Five of the world’s top SD card manufacturers are working on a "next generation secure memory initiative" that will see them develop a digital rights management (DRM) scheme that allows users to transfer HD content onto an SD card.

In theory, Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba hope to encourage content providers to deliver premium content directly onto SD cards by eliminating the fear that the HD material will be pirated. In turn, this will allow users to transfer and watch HD content on a variety of devices from Android-based smartphones and tablets to TVs and Blu-ray products.

"This content protection solution will be robust enough to protect HD content," reads the press release. "A high level of content security will be realised through the use of the initiative's technologies, including unique ID technology for Flash memory and robust copy protection based on public key infrastructure."

The Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative will enable "various HD content applications such as HD network download, broadcast content to go, and HD digital copy/managed copy from Blu-ray disc media," though it's unknown whether Microsoft Windows devices or Apple products will be supported.

The five companies believe that they each can make substantial contributions that, when combined, will enable them to start licensing the new secure memory technology early next year. The consortium expects to see adoption of flash memory products and various embedded flash memory solutions using this technology in the market in 2012.

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Makes sense given the fast dropping price of flash storage and the increasing presence of download services. Now BT just needs to hurry it up with its fibre roll-out (sorry Virgin Media but if you can't even be bothered to extend your cables to my nearby street 100/200Mbps means nothing to a lot of people).
There's already a DRM scheme that allows you to watch HD content on a variety of devices - it's called NO DRM! ;)
There's already a DRM scheme that allows you to watch HD content on a variety of devices - it's called NO DRM! ;)
Or as our American cousins call it … the honor system :thumbsup:

Presumably the folks involved with this DRM haven't cottoned onto the facts that (a) DRM schemes are usually broken by the very people they're put in place to protect against; and (b) most consumers hate DRM schemes more than the credit card bills they'll get at the end of this month!
So, just to clarify: currently the only way to watch an HD film on my phone is to pirate it? :stupid: