Feeds

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

Gives three weeks to make up mind...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.