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Bertlesmann Launches Digital Rights

Bertelsmann AG Tuesday announced the formation of its own digital rights management company, Digital World Services.

The program is intended to provide end-to-end solutions and services in all areas of digital rights management. It will use InterTrust's digital rights management platform technology and Reciprocal Inc for a scalable and global backend service. Among the range of services offered by Digital World Services and its partners is content preparation and secure packaging, usage and financial clearing, as well as system integration tailored to specific customer needs.

Digital World Services is dedicated to ensuring the secure online protection and delivery of all types of digital content, said Johann Butting, chief executive officer of Digital World Services.

"Establishing Digital World Services, with innovative packaging and clearinghouse capabilities, is a natural progression for Bertelsmann as we conduct business in the 21st century," said Butting. "Our digital commerce solutions take advantage of the combined strengths of many Bertelsmann divisions to enable content owners to increase their customer base and improve revenue, while providing a compelling and seamless consumer experience."

Digital World Services is a joint venture of three of Bertelsmann's six divisions: BMG which holds its share in the venture through its CD manufacturing arm BMG Storage Media; Bertelsmann Multimedia, which handles all of Bertelsmann's Internet activities, including AOL and Lycos in Europe; and Arvato AG where Bertelsmann's print and logistics activities are focussed and which includes Bertelsmann Services Group with expertise in financial clearing, distribution, and call center operation.

Digital World Services is one of the founding members of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) and assists in the development of international standards for securing music across digital delivery platforms.

Digital World Services is set to debut at the MIDEM 2000 conference on January 22 in Cannes, France.