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IBM and Fox Getting Flagged For Home Networks

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The Federal Communications Commission has mandated the inclusion of a “broadcast flag” in programming to prevent content from being distributed over the Internet.

With the growth in home networking and the push by technology powers Microsoft and Hewlett Packard to get media center PCs into homes, the need to allow a home network to share broadcast content legally developed. IBM will work with Fox Entertainment Group to develop an add-on to the broadcast flag called “metro coding.” This allows a network to be delineated by its Defined Market Area (DMA) and not where devices like PCs are physically. The broadcast flag currently limits how these programs could be shared.

Currently, flagged content can only be shared with devices that are physically close together. This limits the convenience of sharing for users who are, say, family members in the same city who would normally be able to view a program legally but not share it. DMA would allow these devices to share flagged content; a tech-savvy user in one household could share the content with a less savvy family member across town.

“Protecting content in a way that also provides flexible use for consumers is an industry imperative,” said Steve Canepa, vice president, IBM Media & Entertainment Industry. “Usability is a critical success factor for the widespread adoption of digital content distribution and protection techniques; IBM and Fox are developing an innovative business solution that benefits viewers and broadcasters alike.”

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

IBM and Fox Getting Flagged For Home Networks
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