SyncCast Reveals Microsoft Rights Management

NEW YORK — SyncCast, a company that has until now
specialized in offering secure and integrated
digital media delivery and management solutions to
entertainment firms like movie studios and music
labels, has turned its eye on the enterprise space
thanks to Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Rights
Management Services (RMS).

RMS is a new ASP.NET service, built on the Microsoft
.NET Framework, for Windows Server 2003 Standard,
Enterprise, Web and Datacenter editions. It is
designed to work with applications to provide policy
rights for Web content and sensitive corporate reports.

With Windows RMS, users can control the forwarding,
copying and printing of documents, as well as
expiration rules for portals, word processing or
email documents. The rules can be crafted so that
users can designate who can access specific content
and what kinds of access rights they have.

Rights and policy are managed by the RMS server
component (code-name Tungsten), while clients run a
client component that allows users to apply rights
with a mouse click. Microsoft released
the client component
, Microsoft Windows Rights
Management Client 1.0, for free download last Thursday.

“We think this is good for companies that have any
type of content they want to protect,” Ezra
Davidson, vice president of Business Development for
SyncCast, told internetnews.com at the
TechXNY show here Tuesday.

Davidson added, “Often times, the employee who
mistakenly releases sensitive company information
does so by accident and unintentionally — such as
by forwarding an email. The problem in the past has
been that once the information got out, anyone could
read it. With out SecureSync Technology, emails and
other company communication can only be opened by
someone within the company’s trusted community. So
even if someone got a hold of a sensitive company
document, they wouldn’t be able to read its
contents. This is a sea change in the confidence
with which companies communicate.”

SyncCast has been dealing with digital rights
management for years. Artisan turned to
the firm to secure Region 1 access to its
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Extreme DVD
release. It also secured that studio’s Shadows of
Motown
release.

“We have a lot of experience dealing with studios,”
Davidson said. “We were contracted to deliver 10
million licenses this year.”

Now SyncCast wants to leverage that experience to
break open the enterprise market, particularly
verticals like healthcare, insurance, legal and
government, SyncCast CEO Lance Ware told
internetnews.com. It is also looking at
specialized departments within organizations, like
human resources, finance, and legal. He noted that
SyncCast will primarily aim its service at small
businesses and businesses that want to establish
inter-enterprise communications with trusted
partners but don’t want to deal with the
difficulties of building up complicated licensing
exchanges with those partners.

“We expect RMS to be a significant product with wide
adoption by enterprises,” Ware said. “Our SecureSync
services will jump start companies looking to
quickly gain the benefits provided by rights
management or who would rather not manage the
complexities of operating a secure platform.”

However, neither Microsoft nor SyncCast are ready to
predict what the market for RMS will be. “It’s too
early to tell,” Ware said, noting that SyncCast very
much views the space as an early adopter market.

“The sweet spot comes from helping the early
adopters to find an advantage in the market,” he added.

Still, those early adopters will be limited to firms
that run Microsoft Windows shops, or at least give
end-users capable of utilizing Microsoft’s Internet
Explorer browser. Microsoft’s RMS is designed to
integrate with its Office 2003 suite, though it can
be used with IE through an RMS plug-in for the browser.

Ware noted that companies with mixed shops can
create documents on other platforms and then send
those documents to a Windows server for packaging.

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