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Thomson, Vivendi Partner On Copy Protection

Vivendi Universal and Thomson multimedia have formed a strategic partnership in digital media through which the two French companies plan to address digital content piracy in the global market.

The broad ranging agreement covers three areas, including copy protection, broadband access products and video production services.

The companies will work cooperatively “in standard bodies” on content piracy, representing “the first worldwide cooperation between a content company and a technology group.”

The companies plan to continue cooperating in the digital media copy protection field, already initiated between Vivendi Universal’s Canal+ Technologies and Thomson around the latter’s SmartRights copy protection proposal. The proposal calls for the use of a digital copy protection system utilizing replaceable smart cards.

Vivendi Universal and Thomson will cooperate in standards bodies (DVD, Digital Video Broadcast, Digital Cinema, Mobile Multimedia) and will encourage other CE and information technology companies to adopt and implement interoperable standards-based content protection and rights management systems.

Thomson and Vivendi will also strengthen an existing partnership through which Thomson has been a preferred provider of broadband satellite decoders for Vivendi\Canal+ multichannel TV operations abroad.

Additionally, Thomson is to become Vivendi’s preferred supplier for video production services. As part of the efforts, they will jointly test video-on-demand and mobile phone multimedia technology.