Apple signs secretive multi-year technology licensing pact

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple has signed a multi-year deal with Rovi Corporation, a company that offers a variety of digital entertainment services, but the terms of the deal remain confidential.



Rovi announced Monday that it had signed a deal with Apple, which will allow the Cupertino, Calif., company to license intellectual property. The confidential agreement was disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.



Rovi offers a number of products and services that could apply to Apple. It sells metadata and media recognition software, anti-piracy digital rights management services, and interactive program guides for television set top boxes.



"Rovi offers an integrated range of products that enable consumer electronics manufacturers, service providers, content publishers, and entertainment web portals to deliver a robust digital entertainment experience to consumers," the company's website reads. "By bringing together data solutions, connected platforms and guidance technology, we provide a simple, personalized digital experience that helps customers create deeper entertainment connections for their users."



The company builds digital home software technology that allows various products to sync with one another, letting users access their content from a range of devices. It has pitched its consumer electronic solutions as "the future of home entertainment," allowing users to view and share content on a TV or mobile phone.



On its website, the company states that it licenses its interactive program guide and digital content protection technologies to third parties, allowing them to "facilitate navigation of digital entertainment media and protect valuable assets." Its program guide is currently in use by digital cable and satellite providers, as well as set-top box manufacturers.







Apple, of course, makes its own set top box in the form of the Apple TV, which allows users to access their digital content in the living room. The new cloud-centric Apple TV is set to arrive later this month for $99.



Rovi's ACP technology is described as "the world's leading device-to-device content protection system." Though Apple stripped DRM from music sold in the iTunes Store in 2009, its FairPlay DRM technology remains in effect for TV shows and movies purchased through iTunes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    This is an important part if apple wants to make it easy for people to find content in real time, verse streaming or downloading content they search for which was produced or broadcasted in the past
  • Reply 2 of 11
    This is probably about FCP using DVD and B-ray protection schemes to help prevent theft. I wouldn't read too much into this.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    I presume this is part of Airplay?



    BTW, off topic - when is Apple TV going to be released? Its been 2-4 or 2-3 weeks for a couple months now-... I know, well it seems that long, sorry my impatience is getting the better of me.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    I presume this is part of Airplay?



    BTW, off topic - when is Apple TV going to be released? Its been 2-4 or 2-3 weeks for a couple months now-... I know, well it seems that long, sorry my impatience is getting the better of me.



    Apple said it was coming out the end of September. The shipping estimate for my order just says September. It will ship out the last week of September, probably the last day of September.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post


    Apple said it was coming out the end of September. The shipping estimate for my order just says September. It will ship out the last week of September, probably the last day of September.



    My luck, probably Sept 30th, 11:59 PM, the isle of Kiribati (Gilbert Islands) local time.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,603member
    I would imagine that part of either the Apple TV or future services utilises or infringes on one of Rovis IP's and Apple have secured a license rather than stealing the tech and being sued at a later date
  • Reply 7 of 11
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member
    I saw somewhere on the weekend news that SJ said to bloomberg that Apps are coming to Apple TV soon (1)



    (1) Soon: Copyright 2004-2010 Apple, Inc. All rights reserved. "Soon" does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. "Soon" shall make no contract or warranty between Apple and the end user. "Soon" will arrive some day, Apple does guarantee that "soon" will be here before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on "soon" as Apple will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at "soon."
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Seeing those words on the Rovi site, ' Advertise in your Guide '.

    I'm thinking that Apple is gonna use this just for that.

    They can just have some ads done by iAds and make the adver-

    tisers pay to make it possible to see some first run content.

    What's the difference in having some entertaining ads.

    Apple knows very well that the networks won't let us see all their

    hit shows without somebody paying for it. And AppleTV will not be

    able to compete and especially beat the other guys witout this.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    "Apple signs secretive multi-year technology licensing pact"



    Okay I usually give AI a pass with the titles they use but this one just needs to called out on.



    Secret multi-year licensing pact... If you would be so kind, name any licensing deals from Apple or most anyone that are made available for the public at large to peruse at their leisure. I'm pretty sure you wont find any, not at Apple and likely not at any technology (or otherwise) firm that does these sorts of deals. Yes Apple will on a very rare occasion make bold announcements about them investing X millions in company Y for first dibs on part Z that the company develops. Displays come to mind as do flash ram. (iirc)



    Those however are very much in the minority... Most of the technology licensing Apple does is kept on the DL for obvious reasons. Now the fact that this might be any number of technologies that Rovi offers, it could be nothing more than the stuff Apple already gets from Rovi in conjunction with the iTunes store (that is, if the tech rags/podcasts are passing on accurate info about Apple already being a customer of Rovi).
  • Reply 10 of 11
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    I saw somewhere on the weekend news that SJ said to bloomberg that Apps are coming to Apple TV soon (1)



    (1) Soon: Copyright 2004-2010 Apple, Inc. All rights reserved. "Soon" does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. "Soon" shall make no contract or warranty between Apple and the end user. "Soon" will arrive some day, Apple does guarantee that "soon" will be here before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on "soon" as Apple will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at "soon."



    If I'm not mistaken Steve said .. Apple will offer apps on the AppleTV when the time is right. (pretty much the same as soon I guess) but in the end it's just a little comforting that Apps aren't 'off limits' as far as Apple is concerned. It stands to reason APPS would eventually be a part of Apple TV, it seems awfully silly to migrate it to one of the greatest mobile platforms of our time (yes this is open to debate and no I'm not in the mood to actually do so)..



    Anyway problem #1 is how best to adapt a 100% touch based UI from the iPhone iPad iPod Touch to a mush less touch based hardware of an Apple TV. Yes the BT touch pad is a start but since iOS doesn't really have any virtual representation of a hand even with the trackpad it needs some Apple mojo to make it seem like we should have always been doing it that way. Just like copy and paste its not likely to come out in record time, however when their implementation will be considered by most everyone as 'the best' (same debate clause as before, and no I'm still not going to debate this either) and to ask people to use a $299-$599 device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) to control a $99 media player might get a sold bashing from the tech pubs.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    should be interesting to see the fruition of this licensing pact.
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