Marlin History & Founders

A Shared Vision

Five companies — Intertrust, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Sony — joined together in 2005 to develop specifications for next-generation content and rights management technology.

In early 2006, these Founders launched the Marlin Developer Community (MDC), an open standards community development initiative. Later that year, the Marlin Founders identified the need for a neutral trust management licensing organization and started the Marlin Trust Management Organization (MTMO). The Founders continue to promote the development of a Marlin-enabled content distribution ecosystem.

An Open Environment

The Marlin Founders recognized that they needed to do more than develop another proprietary digital rights management (DRM) technology platform. In order to support vibrant content services over open networks, Marlin exists within an open community development environment. Marlin relies on the shared input of many interested parties to create open standards acceptable to all participants. The Marlin platform ensures that devices enforce rights and apply rules to content in a common way. It also simplifies the legitimate exchange of licensed content between Marlin compatible devices and services.

Growing Membership

Today, the growing Marlin community is achieving its goal of building out a trusted global ecosystem that promotes competitive products and services supported by Marlin. Marlin is commercially deployed today with a variety of devices and services. Companies worldwide are involved as partners, adopters, developers, and trust services providers.

Organizations and Programs

To speed development and deployment, the Marlin Founder’s created the following entities and programs:

The Marlin Developer Community (MDC) is the innovation engine. It continues to build on existing Marlin technologies in an open community. By encouraging developers to participate, the specifications are more robust, targeted, and secure. The MDC publishes the Marlin specifications and participating developers review, provide updates, and enhance these specifications. This openness enables any member of the community to contribute to code. Best practices for deployment emerge with professionally developed source code.

The Marlin Partner Program (MPP) is a solutions development program that is part of the MDC. It is designed to grow the Marlin ecosystem. Device manufacturers, service providers, and content owners can use these flexible, interoperable solutions built by Marlin partners to integrate DRM functionality into their products and services.

The Marlin Trust Management Organization (MTMO) is the neutral enforcer. It is the operational entity that grants commercial licenses to deploy Marlin-based devices or services. The MTMO maintains the root key structure for Marlin implementations. It ensures that implementations are tested, secure, and commercially-ready. It also ensures all Marlin parties conform to appropriate standards and can interoperate.


Have a general question? Check the Marlin General FAQ.
How is Marlin right for your business? Find out how to Get Started.