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Coral Consortium urges Jobs to join ranks

updated 11:30 am EST, Fri February 9, 2007

Coral Consortium to Jobs

The Coral Consortium today announced that it has posted a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in response to his open letter dated February 6th, which detailed Apple's 'wholehearted' support for DRM-free music. The Coral Consortium's letter points out DRM interoperability as a fourth alternative to the three listed by Jobs, and suggests that the best way to achieve a truly consumer-friendly interoperable digital distribution marketplace is for Apple and other key players to join with the existing members of the Coral Consortium to deploy a DRM interoperability solution. The consortium seeks to ensure that digital music and video is easily accessible from any service provider and on any device via a new technology that allows existing DRM solutions to co-exist, promoting content as well as devices that work together. The result, if realized, would enable any portable media player to play any track purchased from any online music store. [updated]

Current members of the Coral Consortium include the big four music labels -- EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group -- as well as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The consortium has also recruited the Motion Picture Association of America, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Time Warner Cable, Twentieth Century Fox Film, and Warner Bros. Technical Operations.

In its letter, the consortium writes to Jobs: "The directors of Coral Consortium were pleased to hear about your interest in interoperability. We agree with you that this is a big problem for consumers. They should be able to acquire content from a wide variety of competitive service providers and play their purchased content on a range of devices and platforms from different manufacturers. This is an issue that is very important to our membership."

The Coral Consortium claims it has wrestled with the issues around interoperability for some years and that the problem is in fact business related, adding that it has completed the development of a suite of technical specifications for interoperability which are readily available for download from its website.

"We think that [Apple's] engineers will find it very straightforward to integrate this framework into your iTunes service. This technology would enable you to interoperate immediately with Microsoft based Janus devices and services, and with OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) based devices and services. Of course the secrets in Fairplay remain safe - adopting the Coral technology does not require you to share them with anyone else."

The technology addresses music as well as video, stressing the importance of protecting film assets alongside music catalogs from illegal piracy while expanding the availability of legal content. The consortium's letter also addresses potential concerns over content provider worries by noting that many parts of the content industry were involved in the development of its specifications.

"We offer Apple, Inc. a warm invitation to join Coral's ranks and help provide interoperability and the increased choice that will bring to all of our customers."

by MacNN Staff





  1. cblackmo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow, all those chiefs...

    I think they hit the nail on the head when they say "the problem is in fact business related." Which might explain why this Consortium has all the major record companies as well as Sony and Phillips and HP, yet is still unable to put forth a complete and usable consumer solution. Considering the record companies' track record for exploiting consumers and artists, I wouldn't blame Microsoft and Apple for steering clear of their shindigs.

    And btw, enough of these huge media conglomerates jockeying for market leverage and ownership. Are they even relevant to us anymore?

    When was the last time any of them truly entertained us, or consistently provided us with content that made us FEEL true spirit or joy or satisfaction or even think?? 3, 4 decades ago?

    Nowadays, we're lucky if they distribute one movie or album a year worthy of high acclaim. Who needs mega-mergers or media consolidation if that's all it gives us??

  1. webertk421

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey Consortium...

    Sit down and shut up.

    -Death to DRM

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Feedback form

    Notice how the web site has no feedback form. I am guessing that is becuase they do not want to hear from the millions of angry consumers on how these sytems do nothing but limit legitimate use.

    If someone wants it bad enought they will find a way to get it, the simple way is to just buy it as a reasonable price (99 songs, $9.99 movies).

    I equate this to the toy industries insistance of putting heavy duty wire and screws, molded indestructable plastic and double strength boxes to deter theft. These annoy consumers, cost nearly as much as the toys and are an enviromental hazard, but they don't care.

    I'd like to encase all the Record Label and Movie execs in that packaging.

  1. Gamoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Consortium

    The power of the dark side is strong. Come join us...

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