Thomson Pitches New Copy Protection


Thomson Multimedia announced plans Wednesday to introduce a new
copy-protection technology called 'SmartRight,' which the company said should
ease content providers' concerns about limiting the number of times their
digital content can be copied by consumers.

The encryption system uses renewable smart cards, and it can be used on its
own or with other copy-protection systems, including the '5C' and 'DVI'
technologies endorsed by other consumer-electronics and computer-industry

Under the SmartRight system, content owners will be allowed to designate
certain material as 'view only,' and others as 'freely copy.' A 'copy for my
personal network' function would allow a content subscriber to transfer the
copyrighted material to other devices within the home, but it would prevent
copying outside of a given home network.

'We do expect that consumers will want to do in their digital living room
what they already do today in an analog environment,' Thomson senior vice
president of research and innovation Jean-Charles Hourcade said in a press

'They'll want to record their favorite shows, time-shift, store copies for
future viewing and share that content with other devices in their own home,' he