Despite a difficult market in which to find fresh financing, SealedMedia, a U.K.-based firm offering cross-media digital rights management (DRM) technology, announced that it has secured $16.5 million in new funding and named Peter van Cuylenburg as its new chairman.

Martin Lambert, founder and CTO of SealedMedia, said that, as a result of the funding, SealedMedia will relocate its U.S. offices, currently in San Francisco, to the East Coast to be closer to publishing clients. He said the company will continue to target both U.S. and European e-publishing markets.

Before joining SealedMedia, van Cuylenburg held senior management positions at Texas Instruments, Cable & Wireless, NeXt Computer and Xerox Corp. He is also a venture partner at Pond Venture Partners, one of three venture capital firms (along with Crescendo Ventures and 3i) that have supplied SealedMedia with the new funding. Van Cuylenburg said he joined SealedMedia because "DRM is clearly an essential foundation technology for the future development of document security and Internet publishing applications." SealedMedia's technology, he said, "can be implemented fully within a publishing enterprise's IT infrastructure and managed completely under its own control, like other enterprise database and e-business software."

SealedMedia was founded in 1996 by Lambert and debuted in the DRM market in 2000. SealedMedia technology offers DRM protection for text, images, audio and video. According to the company, once encrypted by SealedMedia's software, content can be distributed through online aggregators and distributors who pass on consumer requests to the publisher. The publisher can then check credentials and deliver encrypted content to the consumer. Consumers have to download the SealedMedia browser plug-in in order to view the content, but by using a check-in mechanism, content can be viewed from any Internet-enabled computer. Content remains on the publisher's server, and publishers can monitor content use, compile consumer info and have the flexibility to set a wide range of restrictions (such as disabling print or save functions, restricting pass-along, offering pay-per-view, view-only, etc.) on access to their content.

Clients include, which uses SealedMedia to protect its new Shrek multimedia e-book. Other business arrangements include agreements with Marcel Dekker, Pearson Education and Wolters Kluwer.