RealNetworks launched a product yesterday that allows content owners to sell their products on the web and to limit the usage and distribution of their products. RealSystem Media Commerce Suite is going to be the key part of the upcoming MusicNet service Real is going to launch later this year with three major record labels.
Real faces strong competition specially from Microsoft who has already taken major steps into direction to include content rights management as part of its all media products, including Windows and Window Media Player. Microsoft's only problem is currently that it doesn't have any licensing agreements from record labels -- thing that prevents it currently to become a industry leader in content distribution. Many people also see mid-90s too clearly in Microsoft's current plans -- to include key part of the service within its Windows operating system and use that to prevent other players, particularly Real, to compete with it.