Macrovision announced today a licence agreement with Microsoft under which Macrovision will provide worldwide record labels with the capability to design and produce “dual session” music CDs that contain both Red Book audio files, which play on traditional home and car stereos, and also include “second session” files that can be played and stored on a consumer’s PC and portable devices. Microsoft and Macrovision will work together to ensure great consumer experiences while, at the same time, providing a robust rights management environment for record labels.
By virtue of this agreement, record labels will have access to a comprehensive copy protection, authentication and digital rights management (“DRM”) solution for their music CDs from one source for worldwide deployment. Macrovision has agreements with replicators in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia; and Macrovision’s CDS™ technology has been used to protect over 100 million music albums to date.
This licence agreement allows Record Labels to enable consumers to make personal copies of music CDs while protecting content with multi-level security features that address practices such as unauthorised file sharing. PC-based playback of CDs and transfer to portable devices is enabled using the Microsoft® Windows Media® Data Session Toolkit, a new component of Windows Media 9 Series that enables media companies to create and deliver high-quality content via a “second session” for playback on the PC and other devices using Windows Media DRM. As media and entertainment companies look for ways to protect their content, the toolkit can be used to preserve a great playback experience on the PC and other devices. Macrovision’s CDS technology secures the “first session” data and also authenticates that the CD is in fact an original copy. Once authenticated, second session files can be played, stored or exported to secure portable devices.
“This is a ‘win-win’ for both labels and consumers,” said Macrovision president and CEO William Krepick. “Macrovision strives to create transparent content protection technologies that do not inhibit the legitimate ‘digital rights’ of consumers. The companies are creating a solution that addresses many of the content protection issues that are necessary for the survival of the music industry.”
“The challenge faced by digital content owners is how to effectively protect content from unauthorised re-distribution while also delivering great, value-add consumer experiences,” said Dave Fester, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft Corp. “Macrovision technology and the Windows Media Data Session Toolkit represent a significant step in the ability to deliver music fans with rich, seamless access to their music and at the same time respect the needs of content owners.”
“Our combined technology gives CD consumers worldwide the secure portability of their music”, said Adam Sexton, vice president of marketing of Macrovision’s Music Technology Division. “Our solution, incorporating Microsoft’s technology, will ensure that the music industry will have access to best-of-breed technologies for first session copy protection, local authentication, Internet authentication, and a second session solution with the Windows Media Data Session Toolkit.”