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Scenarios for Windows Media DRM

Windows Media digital rights management (DRM) is a flexible platform that makes it possible to protect and securely deliver a la carte and subscription content for playback on a computer, portable device, or network device connected to an IP network. The latest release of Windows Media DRM enables new scenarios for consumers and provides content owners with new outlets for their content. The following sample scenarios show how an already robust platform now offers even greater value.


Business Scenarios


New Subscription Services

Today, consumers can download thousands of tracks to their computers from a variety of content services for a low monthly subscription fee. However, this subscription content hasn't been transferable to portable devices. Windows Media DRM 10 solves this issue by providing platform technology that allows content services to deliver content with expanded business rules and enables devices to support those business rules. This means that subscription content can flow to devices, making subscriptions more valuable to consumers.

For instance, consumers will be able to download a virtually unlimited number of tracks through their subscription, play them as often as desired, and transfer them to any device that supports Windows Media DRM 10. These tracks will be linked to licenses that have start and end dates. At the end of the billing period, the consumer connects to the content service provider and licenses are automatically refreshed provided the consumer has paid the fee. Otherwise, the licenses simply expire.

Purchase and Download Single Tracks

In this scenario, consumers purchase and download tracks protected with Windows Media DRM from content service providers on a per-track basis as opposed to the subscription model. This remains a very popular scenario and a wide variety of service providers use Windows Media DRM to protect such content today.

New Rental Services

Many consumers download movies on a rental basis over the Internet to their computers. Windows Media DRM makes this possible by supporting time-based licenses. This means that movie download services can create licenses that satisfy consumer viewing habits while ensuring that the content is used in the way the content owners intended. For instance, consumers might rent a movie that allows them to begin viewing it anytime within 30 days, and for 24 hours once they start playing it. Windows Media DRM 10 enables this content to be transferred to portable devices that support video playback, such as Portable Media Center devices.

New Video-on-Demand or Pay-Per-View Movies

Windows Media DRM has long supported pay-per-view scenarios for playback on a computer. Windows Media DRM 10 extends this capability to set-top boxes, so content can be viewed and licensed over a cable network in addition to being played back through a computer.

One File, Different Licenses

With Windows Media DRM, a retail Web site can offer consumers a choice of licenses when purchasing content. For example, for a small fee, consumers can play the song for one month. For a larger fee, they can play the song forever and transfer the song to a portable device. If they choose the latter, Windows Media Rights Manager, the license server of Windows Media DRM, issues a license to them with no expiration date that also includes the right to play the file on a portable audio device.

Company Presentations: Protection of Sensitive Material

A company can protect sensitive digital media assets, such as recorded company presentations, by using Windows Media DRM. For example, employees that are unable to attend a company meeting can view the taped presentation at a later time. Because the company doesn't want the information to leak out to its competitors, it has protected the streamed content by using Windows Media DRM. When the employees select to view the presentation from their computers, a one-time license for the content is issued silently, and the video begins streaming.

Distance Learning

A university can save videos of lectures and discussions and encrypt them by using Windows Media DRM so they can be streamed or downloaded to students' computers after the acquisition of a license. The student logs in, and a license is sent to her computer. The university uses the license as an attendance record and also for billing purposes.

Multimedia technology