Attributor cashes up to deliver new DRM system

Company received $10M in new funding and plans to release product in early 2007

Attributor, a company looking at new ways to provide DRM (digital rights management), is promising to release a technology that will scan the Internet for unauthorized uses of copyright digital media.

The company, which is testing its product with a select group of Internet publishers, on Monday announced a second round of venture financing that has raised its available capital to more than $10 million. Attributor, founded in 2005, plans to release a product in early 2007. The second round of funding was led by Sigma Partners, a venture firm specializing in tech companies, Attributor said. The company did not release details of the amount of money raised in the second round.

Attributor is "very pleased" with how the testing is going, said Jim Brock, Attributor's co-founder and chief executive.

Attributor's technology will allow users to create a sort of fingerprint for every piece of text, audio, images or video online. Users can have control over their content while they allow it wider syndication, enabling them to collect fees or get attribution for the content, Brock said.

"Great opportunities exist for publishers to put content out more freely," said Brock, a former senior vice president at Yahoo Inc. "It's a very different approach from DRM, if you think of DRM as trying to curtail content and limit it."

Attributor will help online publishers to understand the value of their original content, Brock said. The Internet is in the "early days of a global content economy that harnesses the extraordinary power of self-publishing," he said.

Brock declined to talk about the technology behind Attributor, which is in Redwood City, California.

Attributor's target customers are publishers of all sizes that are seeking a more effective way to identify and resolve originality and re-use issues for online text, images and video.

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