Microsoft unveils "Janus" DRM technology

— 7:15 AM on May 3, 2004

Microsoft is rolling out its new "Janus" copyright protection technology today. The new DRM tech will enable portable music players to access subscription-based content, which is certainly convenient for those who prefer to rent rather than buy music. However, Janus also includes new capabilities that may prove less popular:

But the new digital rights management tools also include features that would protect content that is streamed around a home network, or even block data pathways potentially deemed "unsafe," such as the traditional analog outputs on a high-definition TV set. That's a feature that has been sought by movie studios in advance of the move to digital television.
While DRM critics will no doubt have a field day with Janus, the technology actually has the potential to enable fair use for subscription-based content that would otherwise be tied to a single device.
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