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Disney's KeyChest is not DRM

Ben Drawbaugh
There's a lot going on at CES, and one of those things was a presentation by Disney explaining its KeyChest concept. We attended and was surprised to learn that KeyChest has almost nothing to do with DRM. We were rolling our eyes when we heard Disney proclaim that KeyChest was complementary to DECE, but now that we understand what KeyChest is, we agree. The easiest way to explain it is with an example and the most obvious to us is iTunes and Comcast. Both companies offer video on demand and use their own DRM to prevent copying. If both participated in KeyChest -- this isn't studio based -- and we bought a movie on iTunes, the next time we hit up Comcast VOD we'd be able to watch the same movie without paying again. The genius of the idea is how simple it is, basically the participants report your purchases to the KeyChest and query it to see what else you bought. It is a simple transaction, but Disney didn't tell us what strings were attached to join up, but did say that the product wasn't meant to be profitable, but of course would not operate at a loss either. The other obvious thing mentioned was that Disney realizes that the entire system is useless if it doesn't reach critical mass.