You know who's missing from the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem
(or DECE) consortium? A group bent on redefining the way we buy, access, and play digital content with a membership roster that includes Best Buy, Cisco, Comcast, Fox, HP, Intel, Lions Gate, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Philips, Sony, Toshiba, VeriSign, and Warner Bros? Right, Apple and Disney, the latter landing a lengthy piece in the Wall Street Journal
describing Disney's own distributed content ownership scheme that goes by the code-name, "Keychest;" a DRM solution that instantly provides access to content on any participating service (digital download store, mobile-phone provider, or on-demand cable for example) when a purchase is made. Keychest does this though a system of unique keys that are issued when a movie is purchased. The keys are then stored in a central repository (aka, chest) that participants would query. In this scenario, the movies would reside with each delivery company on their respective systems -- movies would not be downloaded. On the bright side, if a content provider went out of business you would still have access to your films elsewhere. The proposed solution would work with Blu-ray disc purchases too, since BD players are internet-enabled by design -- DVD keys would have to be manually typed in by the user. So in effect, you'd now be paying once for ownership rights to the film, not to the physical media. If it sounds similar to DECE it is, but Disney claims that its approach is more streamlined and you know, better.
Disney has been quietly courting other movie studios with Keychest and intends to go public with its technology next month. Of course, with Steve Jobs listed as Disney's largest stockholder and the rumored Apple tablet being a media-redefining device that will single-handedly save newspapers while ridding the world of hunger and ignorance, well, you can see where the speculation is headed.