Xerox Corporation and Microsoft Corp. joined forces to launch ContentGuard, Inc., a new Internet company that will deliver comprehensive software solutions to protect and manage books, documents, music, software and other valuable content distributed over the Web. The solutions give publishers and authors more control over their digital material, thus allowing them unprecedented freedom and innovation in delivering and marketing digital content to consumers. ContentGuard, Inc.’s technology, originally developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), is the foundation for various products and services to deliver secure, user-friendly solutions for protecting and distributing digital content over the Internet. These digital rights management (DRM) solutions are designed to allow content developers and publishers to establish and retain control over how their materials are used, copied and purchased. Xerox will retain a majority stake in ContentGuard, Inc., formerly the Xerox Rights Management group. Microsoft will be a minority investor, and other investors are expected to be announced in the future. ContentGuard, Inc., Microsoft and Xerox also will collaborate on future development of DRM technology and standards, including the establishment of XrML (eXtensible rights Markup Language) as a common standard for all forms of digital information and entertainment. XrML will be licensed royalty-free to the industry to enable interoperability across rights management systems. Microsoft will use ContentGuard’s technology to extend future versions of Microsoft’s DRM solutions. Microsoft Reader, a new software product for displaying eBooks, will be the first Microsoft product to incorporate the ContentGuard technology when it debuts this summer. ContentGuard technology will also enhance future releases of Windows Media Player and Windows Media Rights Manager. The ContentGuard portfolio includes the ContentGuard Internet content protection software suite and the electronic Publishing Clearing Service (ePCS) offered jointly with Reciprocal Inc. Today ContentGuard can protect and manage digital content such as market research, business reports, patent applications, books, sheet music and academic course packs. Plans are under way to enable DRM solutions for audio and video material. In addition, ContentGuard products and services enable publishers or authors to deploy materials over the Web in new ways; for example, to create free time-restricted previews, single-chapter previews or one-time use scenarios.,