Philips Electronics said it is talking to Internet music retailers to help them sell
songs and prevent piracy, as it steps up its efforts to keep a few companies from
controlling the digital world.
Europe's leading consumer electronics maker will offer products to play and protect
digital music, Larry Blanford, Philips' chief for its North American Consumer
Electronics operations said.
"We are in discussions with parties that want to develop music download sites," he
said. Philips has a broad range of portable and fixed music recorders and players.
Dell, Viacom's MTV and others have recently said they will start music retail
services on the Web. Apple, RealNetworks and Microsoft already sell music on the Web,
using different technology to encrypt and protect songs. Clients of Microsoft Music
Club can play songs they acquire only if they have a PC or music set equipped with
Windows Media Player.
Philips has chosen not to support Microsoft's Windows Media Player in its consumer
electronics products, a company spokesman said separately. "We need a technology that
works, that is available to everyone, managed in a fair way and not constrained to
any particular group," Blanford said.