Friday Google announced that it agreed to purchase Seattle-based DRM software firm Widevine for an undisclosed amount. The news arrives as Google faces a renewed lawsuit by Viacom over copyright violations while also pledging to provide a better solution for protecting copyrighted material.
"The Widevine team has worked to provide a better video delivery experience for businesses of all kinds: from the studios that create your favorite shows and movies, to the cable systems and channels that broadcast them online and on TV, to the hardware manufacturers that let you watch that content on a variety of devices," Google said Friday. "By forging partnerships across the entire ecosystem, Widevine has made on demand services more efficient and secure for media companies, and ultimately more available and convenient for users."
Widevine's DRM technology is currently in use by more than 250 Internet-connected devices including Google TV, Android-based smartphones, the Nintendo Wii, Apple's iOS platform and more. But after just launching Google TV last month, the internet search giant is currently having trouble securing content from various networks. Their biggest beef with Google points to piracy and how Google TV's search engine doesn't filter out unofficial shows and movies. Widevine's purchase could be the first step in Google's overall effort to mend relationships with weary copyrighted content owners and providers.
The move could also mean that Google may finally be dipping back into the pay video services pool, streaming content for a set fee per month. However according to the Seattle Times, a Google spokesperson declined to comment on whether Google would use Widevine's DRM technology on the current crop of content Google hosts and distributes.
Friday Widevine Chief Executive Brian Baker said that—despite the Google acquisition-- the company will still continue to supply the industry with DRM solutions and video optimizations. "We are excited to have access to Google's vast resources as we continue to improve our products, support our customers, and meet the future needs of consumers, content owners, service providers and device manufacturers everywhere," he said.
So far Google hasn't really stated what it plans to do with the company.