The Walt Disney Co.
have signed a deal to improve the quality and security of digital media and the ability to access digital media from different types of devices, the companies said late Sunday.
As part of the multiyear agreement, Disney will license Microsoft’s Windows Media DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology on a nonexclusive basis, the companies said in a joint statement.
Disney distributes some digital content, such as movie trailers, over the Internet using Microsoft’s Windows Media as well as RealNetworks Inc.’s RealVideo format and Apple Computer Inc.’s QuickTime format.
Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, called the alliance with Disney “a significant cooperative effort … to help guide the industry,” but offered few specifics of what the two companies will do beyond licensing Windows Media DRM. In the statement, the two companies would only say they plan to work on the creation and secure delivery of content, increase the availability of digital media, and improve the ability to use secured content on different types of devices, without offering details.
Microsoft is trying to push use of its Windows Media technology beyond the PC. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last month it showcased Windows Media High Definition Video and demonstrated Windows Portable Media Centers, handheld devices for music and video playback that are due out this year.
In addition, at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival in January, five films were shown using Microsoft’s Windows Media 9 Series technology.
The Disney, Microsoft announcement comes just ten days after
Pixar Animation Studios
(run by Apple CEO Steve Jobs) and Disney ended talks to continue their relationship. Disney and Pixar collaborated on animated blockbusters like Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and most recently Finding Nemo.
Jim Dalrymple contributed to this article.