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To efficiently and effectively achieve the hierarchical access control for multimedia networks, in this paper we propose a distributed key management scheme whereby each SG (service group) maintains an SG server and give detailed analysis. In the proposed scheme, the server for a SG is utilized to manage the key tree and provide the related session keys for all the users in this SG. A detailed case study is provided, and we show that the communication overhead can be greatly reduced by O (nO · logdnO), where nO is the number of users in a SG, compared with employing an integrated key graph to the hierarchical access control problem. At the same time, the storage overhead for all users can be reduced by O(N), where N is the total number of users.