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ITU, IEC Tackle Content Rights

Mari Silbey

Two international agencies have joined together to create a common standard for IPTV metadata associated with content rights information. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have announced the joint effort to align the IEC 62698 standard for rights information interoperability (RII) with the ITU-T H.751 recommendation addressing the same issue. Content security has always been one of the biggest concerns for video service providers, which is why control of the conditional access market locked cable companies into a set-top duopoly for decades. However, the rules are changing now that video is shifting toward IP delivery. (See Is the Set-Top Duopoly On Its Deathbed?) Beyond actual security measures, an easy way to communicate content rights across multiple platforms is needed. Subscribers are no longer tied to a handful of household set-tops, but are watching TV on smartphones, tablets, game consoles and more. Therefore service providers must be able to authenticate users as paying customers and enforce the content licensing rules so they can set exactly when, where and how subscribers will be allowed to watch the content that is available. According to a press release statement, the new ITU-IEC standard will ensure that "service providers and device manufacturers can easily exchange rights information across their current content management systems." — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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