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Tuesday, June 05, 2001
EMI, Roxio act on CD-burning trend

"...EMI and Roxio have entered into an agreement that will make it possible for customers to legally burn compact discs of music downloaded from the Internet. It is the first time a major music label has taken a step to permit and profit from CD burning. Few of the specifics have been determined, though both principals promise tangible results by year's end. EMI Recorded Music senior vp new media Jay Samit said the long-term strategy is more significant than the details. "This is a capabilities deal," he said. "It is not a licensing deal."

Samit said Roxio's software is a key component in EMI's future digital media plans. For instance, online subscriptions could include the right to burn a CD for an additional fee. In another example, a customer could purchase a CD single that includes a link to download the entire album, which could then be burned onto the remainder of the disc. There also is considerable scope for promotional activities, he added. EMI has made an equity investment in Roxio as part of the arrangement. Neither party would disclose the specifics except to say that it was a minority holding for a "not insignificant" sum.

Copy protection will be addressed in any project, as will consumers' desire for flexibility and portability. Although he declined to predict whether copies of burned CDs will be permitted, Samit did suggest that the ability to make one additional copy would meet the needs of most consumers while still preventing piracy. He also acknowledged that it was possible to make unlimited copies of today's commercially available CDs but added, "In the not-too-distant future, most of the record companies will use some form of technology to stop the burning and the ripping of their CDs." The agreement is mutually nonexclusive, and Roxio remains in talks with other labels..."

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