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Korean RIAA nobbles Samsung music phone

'This MP3 will self-destruct after three days'

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The Korean equivalent of the RIAA has forced Samsung to downgrade the MP3 playback quality of a new media phone.

Korea's Association of Phonogram Producers had wanted Samsung to release its MP3 Anycall flip phone with music playback disabled for all but DRM-encumbered music, reports the Korean Herald. A compromise was where the MP3 would play shareable music, but at reduced quality. But it isn't clear if the launch will go ahead. The record label lobby group had threatened to withdraw content from carriers.

Users can hear the high quality version for three days, then only the low-fi version can be played. Do you think this will catch on?

Although smartphone system vendors provide rights-management hooks, and the Open Mobile Alliance has been investigating DRM, downloads from "illegal" P2P networks outnumber pay-for DRM music services by 260 to one. If the carriers want people to use the data services, they will need to convince the copyright holders to embrace more progressive compensation models: where the artists actually get paid. The lure of more money from music buyers may be enough to get the copyright holders to the table. ®

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