Warner Music Japan, a division of AOL Time Warner's record company, Warner Music Group, plans to add copyright protection to one CD title possibly later this year as part of the label's ongoing trials to limit digital distribution of its songs.
The CD, which has yet to be named, will join two titles in Warner Music's European division that will be shipped with copy protection embedded in the disc. This type of technology prevents CDs from being recorded, or "ripped," onto a consumer's hard drive, which could allow songs to be traded through file-swapping networks such as Morpheus, Kazaa and LimeWire.
"The title will be clearly labeled to indicate that the disc is copy-protected," said Will Tanous, a Warner Music spokesman. Warner Music has no plans to release copy-protected titles in the United States, Tanous said.
Warner Music Japan has not selected the copy-protection technology, although the two European releases use Midbar Tech's Cactus Data Shield.
AOL Time Warner has been toying with the idea of developing its own copy-protection software. Last month, the company posted a job listing to hire someone to oversee software development for the effort.
Warner is not alone in its copy-protection efforts. Other record companies, such as Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group and Bertelsmann's BMG Entertainment, have embedded protection software into some of their CDs.
Universal last December released the soundtrack from the movie "The Fast and the Furious" on a CD that prohibited people from burning songs onto their hard drives. The disc, however, included digital music files that could be played through a proprietary software but were unable to be copied.