DRM for music files, however, continues to be a sore spot, mainly because the music format for many years was open, the compact disc, that could be easily copied, said Leibowitz, who used to be the general counsel for the Recording Industry Association in the U.S.
That is why music enthusiasts have had such difficulty accepting DRM on music files, said Don Whiteside, vice president of corporate technology group and director, technical policy and standards for Intel Corp.
"In the music industry, this was a unique environment where the global product which was out there was an unprotected media format," he said. "After 20 years of unprotected media format free to be replicated and shared, introducing rights management technology into that market is proving to be extremely difficult."
Panelists proposed that at some point, Apple and Microsoft may have to shake hands over DRM and allow their devices to interoperate. But it's not something the two can do without the blessing of content providers, who are ultimately steering DRM's direction, said Blake Krikorian, chief executive officer of Sling Media Inc.
"Part of the responsibility of content holders when they’re negotiation with companies like Apple [is] to focus them to be more open," he said.
In an interview with the IDG News Service at CES Sunday, Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, said Microsoft is "talking to everybody," including Apple, about a better way to approach DRM. But he, like Monday's panelists, said it's ultimately the content providers that need to bridge the gap.
"The real challenge there is it’s really not my problem to solve," Bach said. "We’re a participant, but ultimately it’s the content guys who drive the policies and approaches that happen. But we’ll continue to work with them, and I think you’ll see some advances there that make DRM better."
This article contains corrected information since its original release on January 9.