Feeds

Music biz to define digital music ID system

We'll know what you're downloading

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Recording Industry Association of America is developing a system to identify and track the transmission of digital music files, the trade organisation said yesterday.

Essentially, the RIAA's plan is to embed identifiction codes into digital music files. The codes would contain details about the song, who owns the copyright and describe what anyone who obtains the file can do with it - play it back once or unlimited duplication and playback, for example.

The system should be ready for use by the middle of 2001, and is designed to be compatible with existing digital rights management systems, such as software from Reciprocal and Intertrust.

The RIAA described the coding as information that will be stored in the header of digital music files, but we suspect it's more akin to a watermark, embedded within the digitised sound, to make it harder for pirates and hackers to remove it.

Of course, the coding can't stop piracy - there remain too many ways to create digital music files without the codes - but it does provide a mechanism by which legitimate digital music distribution services can track music usage for the calculation of royalty payments.

In that respect, the scheme seems primarily designed to legitimise services like Napster, which can be modified to only handle correctly coded music files and to determine which how many copies of given file are made, and thus what percentage of the subscription fee the owner of that file's copyright should receive.

Again, that won't prevent the rise of deliberately non-compliant software, but it will make it easier for such services to avoid confrontation with the music industry's big guns.

Indeed, the timing of the RIAA announcement can't be coincidence, what with the US Court of Appeal's verdict on Napster still being eagerly awaited by the industry. The RIAA's scheme provides a way out for Napster, a method by which it can avoid closure if the case goes against it. ®

Related Stories

RIAA readies for legitimate Net music sales

The Napster Controversy Full Coverage

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.