Feeds

Microsoft tells music biz to 'back lock-down CD standard'

Gives three weeks to make up mind...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

MusicAllyMicrosoft is attempting to force a last-minute pact with record labels over the future of copy-protected CDs, according to a letter seen by MusicAlly. The allegedly leaked document is purportedly from Alain Levy and David Munns of EMI via Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy Records, who was asked "to reach out to the independent sector to achieve quick consensus on this issue [and] report back to Microsoft."

Any such deal would see Microsoft support "an industry-wide copy control platform" built in to its next-generation Longhorn operating system, with the computer giant instructing labels that the compatible secure CDs must contain additional multimedia content, such as bonus tracks, "as a quid pro quo for adding effective [DRM] into the consumer experience".

The letter, dated 2 September 2004, says that Microsoft's offer came "literally in the last few days" but requires that labels across the entire industry agree upon a specification for the functionality of the protected discs by 20 September. Though Longhorn has been in the planning for years, the implementation of CD audio copy protection will apparently be finalised "in the next few months".

It is not clear from the letter whether Microsoft's proposal is to enforce the "Secure Audio Path" concept (which would protect content all the way to a computer's speakers, making it impossible to make digital copies by recording from the soundcard) or to build in the "Active Software Protection" currently used by the likes of Macrovision.

For their part, Levy and Munns have allegedly provided a "strawman" proposed framework, which covers familiar ground such as the ability for CD buyers "to make a specified number of protected copies of the disc". But there are also some more ambitious requests, such as "when copying the files to the hard drive the consumer can use any protected music file format of their choice". We imagine Apple won't be willing to play ball on this front.

Many independent labels are rumoured to be terrified by the proposal, our sources suggest, which could grant Microsoft the mandate on CD copy protection and, if it is accepted by the industry, potentially increase the costs of CD production.

Is this the biggest hope yet for preventing piracy - or a deal with the Devil? ®

Copyright (c) 2004, MusicAlly

Related stories

Macrovision CDS-300 version 7 beta
Macrovision: iPod support for lock-in CDs in Q4
Macrovision preps '99% effective' CD lock-in tech
Feds OK DVD+R/RW DRM tech
Apple blasts Real DRM translator
Guilty until proven innocent - DRM the mobile phone way
Intel, MS and co. to tout copy-friendly DRM tech
Lock-down CD scores No.1 hit
BMG to punt cheap, no-frills CDs

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.