Secure Digital Container is a Java based DRM that has begun to get some traction in the mobile market. It proports to work with any device that includes a Java JVM with ‘the Java Media Environment’. According to stats on their website, SDC claims that 80% of mobile phones and 90% of PCs sold in 2003 qualify. I’m more than a bit skeptical of those numbers; 8 of 10 mobile handsets purchased 2-3 years ago have a JVM? That seems like a stretch to me. And, what 10% of new PCs do not?
What they do have going for them is a platform independant (Mac, Windows, Symbian, Palm, etc) solution that has been ‘blessed’ by the major labels. They also have real commecial deployments, albeit exclusively in Europe.
However, it is not the holy grail of DRM as it does not support the ubiquitious iPod. In my mind, the world certainly does not need yet-another-DRM techology. What we do need is an open standard ([cough] OMA [cough]) with the support of the major content providers (labels and studios) and device manufacturers. Without it the market, both for devices and content, will contiue to be fragmented and limited. In a modern economy markets flourish not because I’ve built the best widget but because my widget works the best with the Acme thing-a-ma-gig and the MorbidCo pop-o-matic.