Sun Dreams about a Participation Age

Sun Microsystems President and COO Jonathan Schwartz has been talking up the company’s Open Media Commons initiative, an open-source community project developing a royalty-free digital rights management standard. Schwartz is calling for immediate cross-industry collaboration in developing an open, safe and business-friendly approach to the free creation, duplication and distribution of digital content.

"We are entering the Participation Age, an age where individuals are creating and supplying the news as much as they are consuming it,” Schwartz says. “Mobile phones play music and take pictures, high-quality video is delivered to almost any device on earth, and legitimate global P2P networks are being created that will transform the way we live," Schwartz says.

"The demand for new network services is exploding. Incredible economic value is waiting to be tapped, but we must not allow progress to be stifled by clumsy, self-defeating Internet tollgates in the form of a monolithic, closed digital rights management system,” Schwartz asserts.

Sun will share its internal Sun Labs program Project DReaM (DRM/everywhere available) with the community under the OSI-approved Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). Sun Labs Project DReaM consists of:

  • DRM-OPERA: An interoperable DRM architecture implementing standardized interfaces and processes for the interoperability of DRM systems. The DRM-OPERA architecture is independent of specific hardware and operating systems, and is not restricted to specific media formats. It enables user-based license provision, as opposed to today's situation where licenses are assigned to devices.
  • Java Stream Assembly: Launch pad for Video Delivery Servers using the Java Stream Assembly (JSR-158) API, which reduces the complexity in building and managing video streams to be delivered over access networks. Multiple vendor components can be plugged in using the Java Stream Assembly API for delivering broadcast, on-demand and interactive TV streams.
  • Sun Streaming Server (SSS): Designed to serve standards-compliant media (audio/video) streams over IP using open-standard protocols such as RTP and RTSP. SSS is compliant with 3GPP and ISMA specifications. While the server is agnostic to the format of the media, the streams served by SSS are generally encoded using the MPEG-4 codecs. SSS supports MPEG-4 and QuickTime out of the box.

More information on the Open Media Commons can be found at Open Media Commons.