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Patents on XrML (DRM for Atom)

I queried ContentGuard about their patents on DRM technology, and as it seems, no patents are directly linked to XrML. As Rajan writes: «In fact, a DRM product or system may infringe our patents without using a rights expression language».

Hence, I think XrML is as safe or unsafe to use as DRM for Atom as any other DRM language. I will dig a bit deeper into the specification and hopefully find out a way to implement this as elegantly as possible in Atom.

Asbjørn Ulsberg         -=|=-        asbjornu@xxxxxxxxxxx
«He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away»

------- Forwarded message -------
From: "Samtani, Rajan" <rajan.samtani@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Asbjørn Ulsberg <asbjorn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: Patents
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 18:19:31 -0700

Dear Asbjorn:

Thank you for asking about ContentGuard patent licensing, and your interest in XrML.

ContentGuard has a number of foundational patents pertaining to the Digital Rights Management ("DRM"). A list of our US issued patents can be found on our web site at http://www.contentguard.com/patents.asp ContentGuard also has had patents issued in Europe. ContentGuard's patents are not specific to XrML or for that matter the use of any particular digital rights language. In fact, a DRM product or system may infringe our patents without using a rights expression language.

As you may know, ISO recently approved a rights expression language international standard, the ISO MPEG REL (ISO/IEC 21000-5) which is based on XrML. We encourage companies to use it for their development work, since it is an International Standard. The ISO MPEG REL specification belongs to the ISO and can be obtained from the ISO website for a nominal fee payable to ISO, at http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/CombinedQueryResult.CombinedQueryResult?queryString=21000-5

There is no cost to obtain or use the XrML specification itself. It can be down loaded from our web site. The cost to obtain the ISO MPEG REL specification is a small fee charged by ISO. However, products or systems that implement either of these specifications may infringe one or more of ContentGuard's patents and will need a patent license from us.

We are actively licensing our patents. Our objective in the licensing process is to match the license terms to the business model of the licensee. For example, is the product for Business to Consumer, Business to Employee or Business to Business use, etc. These discussions usually entail signing an NDA before discussing actual fee structures. You may also know that we have an SDK that can help implementers of DRM system deploy the MPEG-REL quickly.

If we could better understand your plans, we could provide more specifics. I suggest as a next step that we sign an NDA.

Best regards: Rajan Samtani Director, Sales & Marketing CONTENTGUARD, Inc. 222 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 1400 El Segundo, CA 90245 Office: (310) 426-7962 Cell: (818) 585-9447 Fax: (310) 322-3898 Home: (818) 597-1651

email: rajan.samtani@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
web: www.ContentGuard.com
"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you."
- Max DePree, Leadership is an Art (1989)

-----Original Message----- From: Asbjørn Ulsberg [mailto:asbjorn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 5:50 AM To: licensing Subject: Patents

Hi. I'm a developer involved in different standard workgroups, and one of
the issues I'm set to find out about, is DRM protection of content.

Most of the standards I'm developing are based around XML syntaxes, so
XrML seems like a natural syntax to embed in the langauges we're
developing. But then I read your FAQ, and saw that there are patents
associated with XrML. However, it is impossible to get a list of what
patents this might be, and how it can inflict the usages of the XML
language we're developing.

If it's possible that users of our language (which is open source and
patent free) will have to pay for licenses to ContentGuard to use XrML
within it, I doubt the likeliness of us choosing XrML as a standard DRM
solution for our language. Can I assume that this will be an issue, or are
the patents you have so special that basic usage of XrML won't imply any

I hope you can give me some positive answers on these questions, because
XrML seems to solve the DRM issues we're having. But I doubt we will use
XrML if it forces users of our language to pay for XrML-licenses, unless
the usage is very special and happen in less than 20 percent of the total

Asbjørn Ulsberg         -=|=-        asbjornu@xxxxxxxxxxx
«He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away»