ContentGuard Releases New Version of XrML

ContentGuard, Inc., a provider of digital rights language technology, has launched version 2.0 of its eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML), which broadens the range of business models available to digital content and Web services providers. The Bethesda, Md.-based ContentGuard has also released a software developer’s kit to allow developers to build XrML-based digital rights management (DRM).

ContentGuard also confirmed that it will hand control of XrML to an international standards organization. The company is currently in discussions with several standards organizations about accepting this governance role. By allowing the governance and development of XrML to be managed by an independent body, ContentGuard is seeking to open up XrML’s future development to broad industry participation.

ContentGuard also plans to propose XrML 2.0 to any standards organization seeking a rights language. Within the last week such proposals have been made to MPEG-21 and TV Anytime.

“The DRM industry is seeing vendors and content providers examining how best to leverage the potential of digital content and related Web services,” said Michael Miron, co-chairman and chief executive officer of ContentGuard. “We believe that the availability of standard, foundation technologies, such as the XrML 2.0, will accelerate digital content distribution and Web services initiatives by alleviating the concerns of being restricted to a technology platform, a business model, a media type, a format, a proprietary solution or a particular vendor.”

XrML is a universal method for specifying rights and conditions associated with the use and protection of digital content and services. Originally developed at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the specification facilitates the creation of an open architecture for rights management of digital content and can be easily integrated with both existing and new DRM systems. XrML is available to the industry and is supported by patents related to the use of a digital rights language. Various technology leaders, content owners, publishers, e-tailers and clearinghouses have announced their support for XrML. The XrML 2.0 specification is available free at

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