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Thursday, November 21, 2002
Sony Music develops CD copy-proof system

Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc said Wednesday it will release next January music compact disks (CDs) equipped with a new technology to prevent illegal copying and protect copyrights.

The CDs using the new technology are encoded to prevent illegal copying, but can be decoded and downloaded into personal computers if users obtain a key from the company over the Internet, it said.

The new protected CDs will be using two sessions: the first session will contain the music tracks (protection technology is unknown) that will be playable from the CD players. The second sessions will contain an OpenMG ATRAC3 file of 132kbps which is protected from copying (or supposed to be). MAGIQLIP installation is also included to playback the disc with PCs.

Once the CDs are properly downloaded, users can listen to the music repeatedly on their personal computers but cannot copy them onto other CDs.

The company will provide the decoding key to users for free for the first downloading, but will charge about 200 yen per tune for the second and further downloading.

Sony Music will promote the technology to other music companies in the hope that it will become the industry standard, company officials said. Major music firm Avex Inc appear to be considering adopting it, the officials added.

Unlike Sony Music's new technology, the existing technology can allow no CDs to be downloaded into personal computers.

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