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Dawn Kawamoto

Staff Writer, CNET

VeriSign and Thomson have joined forces to create an authentication and authorization service for movies, music and games delivered over digital networks.

The service, which will debut in the summer, will be used to process secure transactions and for other back-office functions, the companies said on Tuesday. It is geared at the digital entertainment market, which analysts point to as a growing industry.

“We believe that subscriber demand for entertainment services over broadband networks is the next significant area of growth for communications service providers,” Stratton Sclavos, VeriSign’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The parties will use VeriSign’s Internet transaction authentication and network infrastructure technologies, while media and entertainment specialist Thomson will bring its experience in content security, management and distribution–especially in its Technicolor operations–to the table.

VeriSign and Thomson plan to develop proprietary technologies to authenticate and authorize digital content and to build an interface for home networking devices such as video recorders, mobile devices and computers. These features could help protect movies and other content from piracy.

“We believe that creating trusted technology solutions will accelerate the development of new entertainment distribution business models and provide a reliable and trustworthy ecosystem for content owners, network operators, retailers and consumers,” Frank Dangeard, Thomson’s chief executive, said in a statement.