18 March 2008
A recent trip to CES made me realize how important and timely it is for Adobe to have a digital rights management solution for online media. An 18-year-old was stealing video content from various well-known websites, stripping them of their advertisements, and repurposing them on his own website. Apparently his scheme was earning him close to $90,000 per month.
I'm far from a security guru, but I understand the overall concept of protecting video content. That's why I'm excited about the recent announcement of Adobe Flash Media Rights Management Server (FMRMS), which lets content owners and distributors—broadcasters, enterprises, and studios—control how and where their media may be distributed and experienced, even after viewers download it. FMRMS encrypts audio and video files that are downloaded onto people's computers (whether on Mac OS or Windows platforms) and sets policies for their access. If you are familiar with Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management ES, you will notice similar functionality in FMRMS.
Flash Media Rights Management Server protects media content delivered to Adobe AIR applications and Adobe Media Player. You can create a custom AIR application that takes advantage of the content protection capabilities of FMRMS. For an out-of-the-box solution to play downloaded video content, including the ability to lock advertising and branding to content, you can use Adobe Media Player.
Here's how it works. Flash Media Rights Management Server encrypts content and associates it with a policy that specifies certain rights for a particular piece of content: who can view it, when it can be seen, and how long it can be played (its expiration date). Consumers who are using Adobe AIR and Adobe Media Player may require authorization and/or authentication to view the content (which is convenient and nonintrusive for the end user) are then issued a decryption key that unlocks the content.
Content providers can issue unique credentials (usernames and passwords) to their customers to help control access to downloaded media. FMRMS provides a service provider interface that developers can use to create authentication and authorization handlers, which you can integrate into the existing infrastructure (LDAP and such) that you leverage today.
I hope this gives you a useful, if brief, overview of Flash Media Rights Management Server. For more information, check out the product page and also read Laurel Reitman's article, Exploring content protection options with Flash Media Rights Management Server.