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[FYI] New technology could help squelch digital music piracy


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New technology could help squelch digital music piracy  

By John Borland  

Staff Writer, CNET News.com  

December 27, 2000, 3:05 p.m. PT  

A group of technology companies is creating a set of industry 
standards that could help put digital piracy protections directly 
into portable disk drives as soon as this summer.  

The plans are initially likely to affect removable data storage, such 
as Zip drives or the Flash memory cards used in MP3 players. But the 
standards could ultimately serve as a way to keep consumers from 
copying copyrighted files directly onto their hard drives, a daunting 
prospect for those who download music or videos from the Net though 
programs such as Napster or Gnutella.  

Any hardware device that limits what consumers can do with their 
music or video files will face steep hurdles before being adopted. 
Previous devices with built-in copy protection have reached the 
market only to disappear under the weight of consumer indifference.  

Current efforts are coming in two parts. An industry body that 
oversees hardware technologies is creating the new set of standards 
designed to let individual manufacturers add their own copy-
protection schemes. Waiting in the wings to take advantage of the 
standards body's proposal is a specific technology jointly created by 
Intel, IBM, Matsushita Electric and Toshiba, dubbed Content 
Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM).  


"Moving to the hardware level would be a step in the direction of 
creating a fundamental (anti-piracy) infrastructure, which might put 
the content providers' fears to rest," said Steve Vonder Haar, an 
analyst with The Yankee Group.  


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