Projects and Studies in 2002

   P1651 Technical assessment of fibre only solutions for Telcos´ drop segments in greenfield environments  
   P1652 Service Oriented Architectures (SoA) for convergent Service Delivery Platforms   
   P1653 M2M - Opportunities in new service paradigmsnbsp; 
   P1654 Mobile Advertisement (M-Ads) – Spam threat or new opportunity? 
   P1655 Mobile online gaming - from Tetris towards ubiquity? 
   P1656 Definition of an open and extendible IMS Client Framework 
   P1657 Future Internet – the operators’ vision 
   P1551 Applications and services for ADSL2+ and beyond   
   P1552 Open Source for Next Generation OSS   
   P1553 The impact of peer-to-peer networking on Internet Service Providers   
   P1554 WiMAP - WiMAX for Mobile Applications   
   P1555 Sensor Telcos - new business opportunities   
   P1556 Using IP Multicast for the efficient distribution of on-demand streaming content   
   P1557 Fixed Mobile Convergence   
   P1558 Community Interaction   
   P1559 VoIP Security   
   P1401 Service Development in the Home   
   P1402 TIMES (The Inter-operator IM and Mobile IM service)   
   P1421 Interconnection of Multimedia Service Networks   
   P1441 ID Management enabling AAA services   
   P1442 NEMOGS (New market opportunities by Galileo satellite services)   
   P1443 TRAWIS (Traffic models for Wireless Services)   
   P1444 NGN signalling with ENUM   
   P1445 OSS for NGN - Coordination of Telco Activities   
   P1446 WiBAN - WiMAX in Backhaul and Access Networks   
   P1447 BISSLA – Business models and Service Level Agreements in open value chains   
   P1448 Opportunities offered by Carrier Grade Multipoint Services   
   P1301 ETRACS (E-commerce trading of connectivity services)   
   P1302 PROFIT (Potential pRofit Opportunities in the Future ambient InTelligence world)   
   P1303 ANFINA (Access Networks control Functions and Interfaces in NGN Architectures)   
   P1304 CENTS (Cost Effective migration to FTTx-Networks for Tomorrow's Services)   
   P1305 GENIE (GMPLS and MPLS in Enhanced IP Networks)   
   P1306 BIZCOOL (Business to business interaction with Web Services and ebXML)   
   P1307 MultiDeli (Multi Devices Service Delivery)   
   P1308 FRAPESA (Framework for personalisation of services and applications in next generation mobile services)   
   P1309 Health risk assessment of the effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields   
   P1341 NGN Service Concepts   
   P1342 Risk management in bandwidth and wholesale services and the issue of bandwidth pricing   
   P1344 Concepts for generic Telco Application Servers in the various Sub-domains of Telco industries   
   P1345 Mobile Internet/Instant Messenger - the way to enrich our customers' world   
   P1346 Potential of the RFID technology for Telecom Operators   
   P1347 Online Console Gaming on the Web   
   P1348 SPEED   
   P1349 TelCo Grid - Business Opportunities for Telecom Operators in the Grid Market   
   P1350 Multi-application Smart Card Market Opportunities   
   P1201 ERNIE (Entertainment and new services via DSL)   
   P1203 The operator's vision on systems beyond 3G             
   P1204 Mobile Presence   
   P1205 Identity and ICTs - Analysis and Implications for Service Design   
   P1206 Broadband Services in the Intelligent Wireless Home   
   P1207 OPERA (Interoperability of DRM Technologies)   
   P1208 LOCAWA (Location Awareness)   
   P1209 XML Web Services   
   P1241 Cool Town - like architectures and telecom networks   
   P1242 Web Services Orchestration   
   P1243 Perspectives and Potentital of ebXML - standards for SMEs   
   P1244 Homogeneous Infrastructures for Hot Spot scenarios   
   P1245 EASY (Ethernet based Access networks Studies)   
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OPERA - Interoperability of DRM Technologies
For further information please contact:

Anastasius Gavras
Project Supervisor
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about?

Electronic content delivery is one of the future growing businesses in which Network Operators are especially interested. This interest is based on the available technical networks and the direct access to a broad number of end-users. There are also significant activities within the frame of CEC E-Content program. Other standardization bodies offer recommendations whose main output could be used in the copyright protection security specification. One prerequisite for the success in this business is the availability of easy to use protected content, where users are willing to pay for it (so-called premium content). Today some proprietary Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies which are not able to inter-operate are already emerging for protection purposes. E.g. depending on the deployed DRM system customers purchasing licenses from different service providers or content owners offering their content through different service providers have to deal with the functionality and usage of different DRM systems.

Within the project an open DRM architecture specifying standardized interfaces and processes for the interoperability of DRM systems will be developed. The security issues will be investigated consumer-dependent. A commonly implementable and deployable architecture will be specified as well.


The internet as a world wide communication platform failed in one highly promising area, namely content delivery.

Music CD's and videos are mostly still delivered using the traditional hardcopy way in shops or maybe are ordered via internet and sent as hardcopy using the traditional delivery service.

However, the internet has the capability of making media content available on the click. It seems to be an anachronism that media content, which often has to be reproduced on a computer device anyway, requires manual intervention. Music, videos, TV shows, football games or other sport events - everything like this may be delivered via the internet platform. The internet enables the consumer that everything published anywhere on the world is available locally on a home device (or even on a mobile device).

This new availability paradigm requires a different business model. The act of purchasing media will not necessarily be coupled with the act of delivery. Media are ubiquitously present for the consumer, but in order to enjoy them, they must be “enabled”. Not the act of delivery, but the act of enabling media is coupled with purchasing them.

Why is this delivery scenario not already everyday practice?

Besides bandwidth problems, there is not a satisfactory environment and business model, a fact that is preventing premium content delivery over the Internet.

Under the term Digital Rights Management (DRM), there are some activities to realize the idea of "ubiquitous, but usage controlled content". However the different DRM systems are non-interoperable with each other and especially the created statistics for the content owner are different i.e. customers purchasing usage licenses from different services or content providers offering their content through different services have to deal with the functionality and usage of different DRM systems.

To explain, why suitable and interoperable DRM systems are profitable for telecom operators, let us describe the future business vision more verbosely.

There are two different areas, in which telecom operators can profit:

  • Directly: Telecom operators may host some DRM servers and thus will participate directly in the DRM business.

  • Indirectly: Telecom operators benefit from induced increase in network traffic.

Nowadays, the internet carries low bandwidth content. The typical internet service comprises of company presentation via internet with an additional offer to access some (specialized) databases as information service. These services are usually financed by advertising. High bandwidth content like books, newspapers, music, videos or conferences is not delivered via internet, due to the lack of an existing business platform.

Telecom operators nowadays provide only basic network services, but the network itself is not sufficient as a DRM business platform. As part of the business platform, DRM systems are urgently needed.

In the future, we will have a completely different paradigm of ownership and purchase - and we have to develop its details. While nowadays the ownership of goods is bound to a physical ownership of goods and the act of purchase is an exchange between the physical good and money, there will be a different purchase model in the future: goods (i.e. music, videos, books...) will be omnipresent. They will be available any time they are requested. There is no hurdle in getting them. But their usage is controlled by a DRM system. Not the content itself, but the usage of content will be subject of purchase. This means, that content will be freely distributed.

The omnipresence of content requires

  • content providers, which are willing to push their content any time it is requested,

  • network providers, which technically realize it.

Telecom operators are responsible for the second part having the advantage of available technical networks and the direct access to a large number of end-users. However, today content providers are reluctant to push their content. They wouldn't hesitate to push it, if some solid DRM system would be established that reliably controls the content usage.

Focus of the work

There is a strong demand for an open digital rights management architecture, in which components interact freely using standardized interfaces.

There are three major tasks:

  • defining the architecture and the roles of the components, which interact within the architecture,

  • defining interface standards between components of the architecture

  • setting up a prototype based on the specified architecture

It has to be an open architecture i.e. it must not be bound to any proprietary hardware or system environment. Components of the system must be easily replaceable.

To show the feasibility of the proposed open DRM architecture a prototype using an existing content delivery service and a commercial DRM system will be set up.

What are the main objectives of this Project?

The main objectives of this proposal are to:

  • To provide an open DRM architecture enabling a general environment for premium content delivery. The open DRM architecture should be based on proposed standards recommended by different international standardization groups. The open DRM architecture should allow future requirements and emerging technologies. 

  • To develop and specify standardized interfaces for the interoperability of DRM systems. This will concentrate especially on the interfaces and processes for the usage and financial clearing House but also on content preparation.

  • To set up a prototype showing the feasibility of the proposed open DRM architecture and providing a guideline for the integration of further commercial DRM systems with manufacturer company involvement.

  • To preserve the interests of network providers and synchronize the outcomes with the standardization bodies.

  • Special analysis of copyright protection security issues and consumer privacy requirements respectively.

What are the key results for this Project?

  • Global overview of the state-of-the art DRM systems including security aspects.

  • Overview of the current DRM standardization activities.

  • Harmonization of recommendations based on previous activity.

  • Identification of the user requirements and usage scenarios.

  • Process Model.

  • Specification of an open DRM architecture with the special focus on the requirements of telecom operators.

  • Utilization of the open DRM architecture through a prototype based on an existing content delivery service and a commercial DRM system.

  • Common utilization in implementation, launching and deployment of the prototype based services among telecom operators from the same branch.

  • Guideline for the integration of a commercial DRM system within the open DRM architecture.

  • Transfer of network provider interest into DRM standardization bodies.

  • Synchronization and possible cross-functional work with EU CEC E-Content programs.

What relationship exists to other organisations or bodies?

DVB, MPEG21, TV-Anytime, IDRM 

Project Results
Deliverable Title  No Issue date
Overview of current DRM systems and standardisation activities D1 September 2002
 An Open DRM Architecture D2 August 2003
 Prototype description of an open DRM architecture D3 December 2003