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Microsoft attempts to prevent CD copying

In a concession to record companies who want to “copy proof” new music compact discs, Microsoft has introduced the Windows Media Data Session Toolkit. The new software product enables record companies to prevent music copying on personal computers while allowing normal playback on standard CD players.

The software would lay songs onto a copy-controlled CD in multiple layers, one that would permit normal playback on typical consumer CD players. The PC layer, however, could be modified by the content provider to prevent the ripping and burning of songs as computer files.

Universal Music and EMI, two of the biggest record labels in the world, “are very excited about this because it enables the industry to build a CD with their own protections built in,” said David Fester, general manager, digital media entertainment for Microsoft, speaking last week at the Midem Music conference in southern France.

Fester said Microsoft has invested $500 million in digital rights management technology. The Toolkit was co-developed with technology partners Phoenix-based SunnComm Technologies and France's MPO International Group, he said.

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