TW stakes out ContentGuard

Co., Microsoft majority controllers of tech licensor

Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives.

Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year.

Microsoft already has a minority stake in ContentGuard and is increasing its investment along with Time Warner. Together, the two companies now share majority control in ContentGuard, taking over from former stakeholder Xerox, which helped develop most of the company’s intellectual property.

ContentGuard licenses a number of key patents to big players in the DRM arena, including Microsoft. Along with its equity stake, TW gains direct access to those patents, which it plans to use throughout the company.

“All our divisions are behind this because they all have specific parts of their business plan related to the safe distribution of digital content,” said Time Warner senior VP Ron Grant.

The conflict between different DRM standards that don’t interoperate has been a major stumbling block in the evolution of a market for digital content. All three companies involved in the deal are hoping their combined presence will help to establish DRM based on ContentGuard IP as a standard for the industry.

“There are a number of obstacles to a free-flowing digital marketplace, and this addresses several of them,” said ContentGuard CEO Michael Miron. “Together we’re aiming to solve the lack of standards and the need for broad access in the entertainment industry to this sort of IP.”

Microsoft’s increased stake in ContentGuard should also bring the DRM company closer to Disney, with which the software giant recently signed a partnership similar to its one with Time Warner.

Along with its investment, Time Warner gains two seats on the ContentGuard board of directors; Microsoft already has two.

More Scene

  • Kevin Durant Lindsey Vonn

    Kevin Durant, Lindsey Vonn to Keynote Variety's Sports & Entertainment Breakfast

    Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives. Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year. Microsoft […]

  • Cher and Meryl Streep'Mamma Mia! Here

    How the Cast of 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Geeked Out Around Cher

    Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives. Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year. Microsoft […]

  • Demi MooreComedy Central's Roast of Bruce

    Demi Moore Appears as Surprise Guest at Bruce Willis' Comedy Central Roast

    Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives. Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year. Microsoft […]

  • Outfest Filmmakers Get Political, Issue Call

    Outfest Filmmakers Get Political, Issue Call to Action on Opening Night

    Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives. Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year. Microsoft […]

  • Bob Woodruff Foundation Acquires Veterans Org

    Bob Woodruff Foundation Acquires Veterans Org Got Your 6

    Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives. Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year. Microsoft […]

  • Tiffany HaddishTiffany Haddish at the Hollywood

    Tiffany Haddish on Future Career Plans, Taking Advice From Tyler Perry, Melissa McCarthy

    Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives. Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year. Microsoft […]

  • Vince Gilligan Carolyn Strauss Paley Center

    'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan Suggests 'Maybe It's Time for Heroes Again' on TV

    Time Warner is making a multimillion-dollar investment in digital rights management technology company ContentGuard in a bid to help set copy protection standards for Hollywood and spur its own digital entertainment initiatives. Investment is part of the conglom’s partnership with Microsoft, which signed a deal to work with TW on digital content last year. Microsoft […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content