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Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba create SD 'security solution'

By dpreview staff on Dec 20, 2011 at 21:10 GMT

Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba have announced they are working on a 'security solution' for the Secure Digital format - a move more about transferring paid-for content onto mobile devices than about photography. The system will associate cards with content buyers, so that rights-owners feel they can allow those buyers to move copyrighted Blu-Ray and downloaded HD content onto the cards. Or, in marketing speak: 'enables the effortless consumption of online and offline content across multiple device platforms.'

Press release:

Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba Join Forces to Collaborate on Next Generation Secure Memory Solution

Five Companies plan to jointly form ‘Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative

December 19th, 2011—Panasonic Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SanDisk Corporation, Sony Corporation and Toshiba Corporation today announced that they have reached an agreement in principle to collaborate on a new content protection technology for flash memory cards such as SD Cards and various storage devices. Under the ”Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative,”*1 the five companies will start preparing for licensing and promotion of HD (high-definition)-capable security for SD Cards and embedded memory for use in advanced consumer applications such as tablets and smartphones.

This content protection solution will be robust enough to protect HD content. A high level of content security will be realized through the use of the initiative’s technologies, including unique ID (identification) technology for flash memory and robust copy protection based on public key infrastructure.

The five companies believe this technology will enable various HD content applications such as HD network download, broadcast content to go and HD Digital Copy/Managed Copy from Blu-ray DiscTM*2 media. With these applications, users can enjoy HD content on a wide range of devices, including AndroidTM*3-based smartphones and tablets, TVs and Blu-rayTM*4 products.

The five companies believe that they each can make substantial contributions that, when combined, will enable them to start licensing the new secure memory technology early next year. The five companies expect to see adoption of flash memory products and various embedded flash memory solutions using this technology in the market in 2012.

"Panasonic has always been an innovator in providing the best possible content viewing experience in the living room through development of Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3DTM technologies and products" said Yoshiyuki Miyabe, Corporate CTO, Panasonic Corporation.  "With our new secure memory solution, we are excited to create a strong link between the living room experience and the mobile experience. Now consumers can enjoy watching premier content, such as movies, on the go with their smartphones and tablets".amsung believes that the time is ripe for an advanced security solution and welcomes the opportunity to deliver a highly viable solution using flash memory chips.  Samsung’s ongoing commitment to technology excellence will now further extend to early market availability of high-performance NAND technologies implementing the new advanced security solution,” said Young-Hyun Jun, Executive Vice President, Memory Business, Samsung Electronics. Co., Ltd.

“Consumers are ready for a solution that enables the effortless consumption of online and offline content across multiple device platforms,” said Sumit Sadana, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for SanDisk. “SanDisk looks forward to building on its history of innovation in the Flash industry by delivering optimized memory solutions to enable this new usage model with robust security technologies that can protect premium content.”

“We believe the secure solution created by this initiative will enable customers to enjoy high quality experiences anytime, anywhere. Sony has always been focused on bringing amazing experiences to people through highly-advanced technologies in content creation, content distribution and picture display,” said Hiroshi Yoshioka, Corporate Executive Officer and Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation.

“This technology will open a new door to flash memory applications. As a flash memory manufacturer, we are pleased that our flash memory technology will contribute to bringing people more convenient and exciting experiences of HD content. We will continue our development efforts to create surprising innovation,” said Yasuo Naruke, Corporate Vice President, Vice President, Memory Division, Semiconductor & Storage Products Company, Toshiba Corporation.

About 'Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative
'Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative' (a tentative name) is a collaboration of Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba to license and promote HD (high-definition)-capable security for SD Cards and embedded memory for use in advanced consumer applications such as tablets and smartphones. For the details, please visit http://nextgenerationsecurememory.com/


*1  "Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative" is the tentative name, it will be decided later.
*2  "Blu-ray Disc", "Blu-ray" and "Blu-ray 3D" are trademarks of Blu-ray Disc Association
*3  "Android” is a trademark of Google Inc.
*4   "Blu-ray Disc", "Blu-ray" and "Blu-ray 3D" are trademarks of Blu-ray Disc Association

Comments

Total comments: 36
ecm
By ecm (Feb 24, 2012)

Interesting.... my comment has been removed. Wonder why?

0 upvotes
No Sideshow
By No Sideshow (Dec 25, 2011)

Pity about all that. SD and CF will be phased out in favour of the new XQD format that has just been finalised.
Typical of the music and movie industry being 3 years behind the action.

IN two years WIFI will replace cards completely so there wont be any cards in cameras, just like there are no longer any floppy drives in pc's anymore.

So there you are taking shots and your camera is wirelessly transferring images to your iPhone in your pocket or iPad in your bag at 100mbps.

My understanding is that Nikon will offer this capability in 2012 using an iOS version of View NXx.

Its all happening.

0 upvotes
Gandalfthewhite
By Gandalfthewhite (Dec 23, 2011)

I am not concerned about copy protection. I am more concerned about "...including unique ID (identification) ...". This goes into the space of identifying, tracking and recording personal activity and, ultimately, privacy.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Dec 22, 2011)

Moves, music, games, software, ect keep getting more and more mediocre and of course less and less people want' to buy them. So what's the solution? Make better content the consumer values? Heck no! Just blame your falling sales on piracy and try to force people who will never buy anything from you anyway to buy your mediocre content with ineffective technology that just inconveniences the few paying customers you have left.

The solution to this insanity is simple. Don't ever buy DRM locked SD cards. Other wise the time will come when you will need proprietary, paid software just to read the files on it.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Dec 22, 2011)

George Hotz will be happy to hack it.
It's his expertise.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8478764.stm

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

Well, the way I read this mambo-jumbo (looked at some other postings and comments on it as well), "copyrighted material" will be whatever this brain trust says it will be. This has happened before, for example Sony put security chips into some of their professional video tapes way back in the late 1990s already.

Anyhow, how can anyone prove to the paranoid encrypted SD card that the person is actually the copyright owner of the material he/she is recording, transferring, copying, or even just attempting to be playing back?

If this racket takes off, it will be the end of SD card recording and copying, IMO. And good luck copying anything digital ever from the Internet or BD to a copy-protected SD card. You won't be able to do it.

0 upvotes
DanCart
By DanCart (Dec 26, 2011)

very good point , there is a silver lining to your last line at least we still have the good old external hard drive...

0 upvotes
ARShutterbug
By ARShutterbug (Dec 21, 2011)

It's more Digital Rights Management stupidity. How about a way for photographers to protect their work from copyright infringers on the Internet? Why is it always the big content producers getting their rights protected from regular consumers, while the grey market goes on ripping movies and music, instead of the small photo and video producers being protected?

3 upvotes
kimvette
By kimvette (Dec 21, 2011)

Eh, I dunno. DRM-free DVDFab, DVDShrink, Handbrake, and DVD::Rip all work just fine for me - I can already effortlessly transfer any of my Blu-Ray or DVD movies to any of my portable devices.

Nice effort, though!

2 upvotes
thorkilry
By thorkilry (Dec 21, 2011)

Just a big BuuUHHHH....

0 upvotes
Indulis Bernsteins
By Indulis Bernsteins (Dec 21, 2011)

From the same people that brought you "region coding", another wonderful "lock-down" technology so you'll need permission to move content between your memory devices. And maybe get charged for the privilege. Just say no!

3 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 21, 2011)

How much does it cost a subscriber to download a 90-minute 30mbps Blu-ray to a micro SDHC card on a tablet? If watched on a 1280x720 9" screen, does that make any sense? What would it cost a miser to stream a 5mbps version of the same?

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Dec 21, 2011)

Huh? SD cards have had DRM built in from the start - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital#DRM_features

0 upvotes
DanCart
By DanCart (Dec 26, 2011)

that is the first thing that amazed me about this story, why did those companies make so much noise about something that has been there for more than a decade?

0 upvotes
MadsR
By MadsR (Dec 21, 2011)

When will these people realize that their efforts are in vain?
They work against progress with all their might, resolving to arcane changes in law and prosecuting their customers when they inevitably fail fighting technological advances.
It is folly to think they can stop content sharing. It is impossible always have been and forever will be. They don't realize that content sharing are in their own best interest, so they try an limit it as much as possible, mostly through impossible to enact laws that only have the effect of alienating their customers by making legal purchasing and usage impossible and strengthening "pirates" because their goods are easy to obtain and easy to use.

4 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 21, 2011)

If you can prescribe how free-for-all sharing can become a money-making formula, you could be rich. Or might their be a hole in that scheme?

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Dec 22, 2011)

Whether you can make money from free for all sharing is irrelevant. It will not go away and it is how people want and frankly expect to be able to use their content. You can pass laws and make silly DRM schemes like this but all you will do is drive away your consumers with content and technologies that are simply to inconvenient to use.

You can't stand up to the tidal wave of change.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MadsR
By MadsR (Jan 3, 2012)

Well, you could set up your stuff for sale and distribute is using torrent or some other protocol. Sure people can download it without paying if someone sends them a torrent link, but they would probably not have paid for it anyhow, and the ones that would buy it, suddenly have an opportunity to not only buy it, but actually buy it in a convenient way, getting the official torrent from the distributor would secure you from malware infected stuff you might find elsewhere...

And in the same way as radio stations pay a bulk sum for playing music on the air, ISPs should pay a bulk sum for having their customers have access to content. Without content no users, and without users no content, so it is a win-win.

Of cause both of these "solutions" work from the concept that executives in the content business are reasonable, which they prove again and again they are not.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Dec 21, 2011)

So basically, they're trying to erase one of the biggest advantages of the digital age - extremely convenient information transfer without cost. It feels like making a digital camera that doesn't allow you to see pictures you took without sending the card off to a store to be "developed". To echo the concerns of previous commenters, how does crippling technology help the consumer?

Seriously...what is with the content industry trying to cripple new technology? The MPAA railed against DVRs and VHS tapes....but those technologies came around and creativity hasn't died. Now they're throwing SOPA at the internet and persuading SD card makers to waste engineer and developer time on this? Come on, just be happy with the massive profits you make off box office sales and stop trying to cripple everything.
P.S. decrypting a file just to play it is a waste of CPU cycles as well.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

Right U R. This is a dead duck in a still pond from the get-go. Based on what they are saying, if you pop an SD card in your camera and shoot something with it, then later you want to copy this content to another SD card, you will need their permission.
What a pot o' crack, really.

0 upvotes
aroundomaha
By aroundomaha (Dec 21, 2011)

Nothing about this is *for* the consumer, just about media industry paranoia and control freak mentality. As a photographer this does nothing for me and probably will result in camera and PC issues because making something more complex than it has to be is never a good thing.

Want to know how bad the media companies want to tilt the table in their favor without regard to what it costs their customers? Just google for SOPA.

3 upvotes
ibic
By ibic (Dec 21, 2011)

I really don't understand how this kind of proprietary "protection" could possibly benefit the end customer.

2 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Dec 21, 2011)

i feel like we're missing a company...oh well.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Dec 21, 2011)

sounds like sony's defunct MagicGate memory sticks. in any case, im just going to torrent my media, thanks

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Dec 21, 2011)

DRM actually seems like a compelling reason to torrent. Torrenting is inconvenient, consumes extra bandwidth, and seems to have some inherent security flaws, so I'd rather pay $0.99 or so for a song. But DRM creates a mess that wastes even more time and can leave you unable to use something you paid for. In comparison to the DRM quagmire, torrenting looks like a piece of cake.
I bought one DRM locked song from iTunes, and from my experience, that will be my last. Free classical music off wikipedia is ten times better (more convenient and far more ethical) than anything put out by the crazy content industry.

1 upvote
FuzzTheKingOfTrees
By FuzzTheKingOfTrees (Dec 22, 2011)

You do realise that downloaded music is DRM free these days? All the big names have been free from DRM for a number of years including iTunes and Amazon.
I fully agree that DRM is a mess and I refuse to buy digital files that are DRM encumbered, but you should give the music industry some credit here, buying music online is easy, the tracks are standard and portable and in most cases buying an album digitally is cheaper than the CD version.

0 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Dec 23, 2011)

From what I remember, though, it was a mess trying to move it to different computers or devices. I think the song I bought was locked. Eventually, I think I just played it with the headphone port wired to the line-in port and recorded a mp3 version. That solved all the problems, but I shouldn't have to do that just to use something I paid for.
I did some searching and found http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/04/02Apple-Unveils-Higher-Quality-DRM-Free-Music-on-the-iTunes-Store.html, which states that they started offering DRM-free versions for a higher price in 2007. However, I think I either bought the song before 2007 or went for the cheaper $0.99 version. Whatever, I'm not touching that mess again.

0 upvotes
Gandalfthewhite
By Gandalfthewhite (Dec 23, 2011)

I am not concerned about copy protection. I am more concerned about "...including unique ID (identification) ...". This goes into the space of identifying, tracking and recording personal activity and, ultimately, privacy.

0 upvotes
dlevitt
By dlevitt (Dec 21, 2011)

Or in plainer language "Keeps us in control or Your Stuff"

3 upvotes
ecm
By ecm (Dec 21, 2011)

What would my dollars be buying, exactly? Oh yeah.... strict limitations on my viewing/listening choices, the "privilege" of buying the same item again and again, one copy for each licensed device, and the threat of incarceration or penury if I stray....

The whole entertainment industry - completely, utterly clueless.

0 upvotes
Doctor MEmory
By Doctor MEmory (Dec 21, 2011)

A more accurate headline would have been "Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba create SD usablity problem."

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 20, 2011)

Sounds like a bunch of krappety krap. First you pay for their overpriced, dubious value krap, and then they krapping tell you why you cannot use it. And how much penalty and prison sentence you are facing, anyhow. Lame....

This is very simple. Either just do not buy such a freak-show SD card, or else if you do, then hack into it right away. And who is still buying overpriced Blu-ray disc movies, anyhow? That boat had sailed already. It could have been something -- but it turned out to be nothing much at all.

They cooked it up -- they can keep it and do "that" with it.

BTW... Panasonic had gobbled up Sanyo and is closing that company down completely early next year. Sanyo parts, service, etc. will be "honored" by a 3rd-party outfit called Heartland Services. Buyers, beware!

0 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (Dec 20, 2011)

AHHH! Wake-up sheeple! Just say NO, to DRM. You, will not control us.

1 upvote
AV Janus
By AV Janus (Dec 20, 2011)

Well you failed at explanation. :-P
And judging by how long you had to make it and how hard you tried it is probably something we can already do but it is not "approved of"

I guess this is their try of teaching us how to transfer blurays on portable media or something as such... LOL

0 upvotes
Jaur
By Jaur (Dec 20, 2011)

Is Toshiba into this twice? or is it just a typo...

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 20, 2011)

Just to make clear - we're only running this story because it's turned up on several photo sites and we wanted to explain what it meant (and how little it has to do with photography).

2 upvotes
Total comments: 36