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New global digital media consortium formed

Major Hollywood studios, retailers and tech giants join hands for a digital download revolution

Digital distribution is set for a revolution with the formation of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), a consortium of Hollywood studios, retailers and tech companies.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Fox Entertainment Group, NBC Universal, Sony, Paramount Pictures and Comcast Corp. with retailer Best Buy along with tech giants Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Philips, Toshiba and Verisign have all invested in the undertaking.

The DECE will create new standards for the transfer and storage of copyrighted digital content, rivaling Apple who already offers a similar ‘ecosystem’ between its devices such as Mac computers, iPods and the iPhone.

Walt Disney Co., a staunch Apple ally, has a noticeable absence from the consortium.

The new DRM (Digital Rights Management) aims to let videos purchased at any outlet be played on any device worldwide, under a unified brand and logo, according to Reuters.

The DECE will allow an unlimited number of copies of a video to be created or burned onto a disc. Consumers can even stream content from a server-based ‘rights locker’ that can be accessed anywhere.

More details are expected to be announced at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in January.