[rumori] Music Companies Seek New Piracy Protection (Sanders & Healey LATimes) (fwd)

From: { brad brace } (bbraceATeskimo.com)
Date: Thu Jul 18 2002 - 17:39:54 PDT

< also hear that the latest version of Toast (CD burning
software) has a built-in "copy-protection" scheme > /:b

                      Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times

 July 18 2002

         Music Companies Seek New Piracy Protection



 WASHINGTON -- Opening a new front in the war against digital music
 piracy, major record companies are asking computer and electronics
 manufacturers to help stop consumers from sharing songs copied from
 online radio broadcasts.

 The Recording Industry Assn. of America, the industry's main trade group,
 wants to develop an "audio performance flag," similar to the "broadcast
 flag" technology being developed to protect digital television programs,
 Mitch Glazier, senior vice president of the RIAA, disclosed Wednesday at
 a Commerce Department meeting on piracy.

 The goal is to prevent music transmitted by an Internet radio station
 from being redistributed over the Internet. The flags would act as
 markers that tell devices not to move any part of the broadcast back onto
 the Internet. This approach would require changes to millions of
 computers and other Internet-connected devices. Because computers convert
 digital audio files to analog in order to play them, it may be impossible
 to stop pirates from making fresh recordings with no digital protections.

 Internet radio is not a significant source of piracy today, in part
 because of its inferior sound quality when compared with CDs. But as
 high-speed Internet connections proliferate and broadcasting costs drop,
 online stations are expected to shift to higher-fidelity feeds.

 Glazier said the RIAA has held "very limited, preliminary discussions"
 with people in the consumer electronics and information technology
 industries, but the talks haven't progressed far. The next step, he said,
 is to ask industry groups and companies more formally to get involved.

 The latest effort is one of half a dozen or more by the labels and
 Hollywood studios, which are eager to deter piracy with technology.
 Others include inter-industry efforts to stop digital movie files from
 being copied and to prevent digital TV programs from being transmitted

 Yet another set of discussions is expected to start in the next few
 weeks, as the Hollywood studios hold high-level talks about piracy with a
 group of leading computer and information technology companies. The
 companies offered to meet with the studios if the discussions also
 included non-technological approaches to piracy, such as giving consumers
 a legitimate source of movies online. The Motion Picture Assn. responded
 late Tuesday with an offer to meet "with no preconditions."

 Under federal copyright law, online broadcasters can automatically obtain
 licenses to the labels' music if they follow certain rules for playlists.
 They have to pay royalties, but the amount--0.07 cent per song per
 listener--is much lower than they would have to pay for an on-demand

 If users record those broadcasts and send the songs over the Net, Glazier
 said, it undermines the distinction between free or low-cost online radio
 and on-demand services. That's why the RIAA wants to put some kind of
 digital marker into Webcasts to prevent them from being redistributed, he

 Although streams aren't a major piracy problem, the RIAA has an interest
 in preserving a range of distribution options, said Jonathan Potter of
 the Digital Media Assn., which represents online audio and video
 services. "Our industry is all in favor of there being several different
 types of business with several different price points," said Potter,
 DiMA's executive director.


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