TechCrunch reports today on a move by the major studios to protect digital media through a DRM scheme called Open Market. Rather than bow to the the individual protections of a single retailer, otherwise known as iTunes, the studios are working with about 30 different retailers and portals, including Amazon, Best Buy, Direct TV, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile, Target, Wal-Mart, and others to create a system whereby any digital media available through the participating companies would be subject to third party encryption that would only work on registered devices. (Essentially, you could only play the movie on a device you had registered in advance for the purpose of ‘using’ that file).
This could be good news for indies, since it has been shown time and again how distasteful these kind of DRM methods are to consumers, who want to be able to use media they paid for when and where they want it, as they would a DVD. If indies are able to market their downloadable products on Amazon or other portals as DRM-free (or at least, not “Open Market”) it may be a selling point.