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Will Widevine patent impact DCAS?

Fri, 03/03/2006 - 6:15am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Widevine Technologies has secured a patent that could have ramifications for the cable industry's DCAS (downloadable conditional access system) effort.

Widevine said the patent (No. 7,007,170 B2) covers downloadable conditional access, mobile media digital rights management and copy protection for high-definition DVD formats such as Blu-ray and HD-DVR.

More specifically, the patent explains several concepts, including tamper response mechanisms such as erasing content, locking operation, erasing the private key and the content key, and reporting unauthorized action.

The cable industry is pursuing a DCAS platform as a replacement for the hardware-centric CableCARD.

Widevine would not say whether it plans to take any legal action related to its patents, but the company believes its intellectual property overlaps other downloadable CA systems.

"Many of the technologies we've announced as patented would be absolutely required for a downloadable conditional access solution," said Widevine CEO Brian Baker.

Motorola Inc. already has a deal in place to encrypt its IPTV platform via Widevine's Virtual Smart Card system.

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