Sony Test Value-Added Scheme For Copy Protected CDs

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Record companies are finally coming up with creative ways to keep you honest when it comes to the music you buy. Theyive tried to scare you with lawsuits and control you with copy protection schemes, efforts that have thus far proved about as useful as a mop in a flood. According to Wired News, Sony is taking a cue from Apple, and has come up with a strategy that it hopes will offer an incentive for music lovers to buy copy protected CDs.

The is releasing CDs that will include an additional CD containing versions of the music that are digitally controlled, similar to the way Apple has used its FairPlay DRM scheme to copy-control the AAC format. These digital versions can be then played on computers and Sony portable music players, while the copy-protected version intended for conventional CD players can not be played on computers. From the Wired News article, Sonyis User-Friendly Copy Block:

On Monday, Sony will release R&B group Naturally Sevenis new CD in Germany with a so-called "second session." The disc can be played on almost any device conventionally, said Phil Wiser, Sony Musicis chief technology officer.

It also contains a compressed digital copy of the music that can be quickly copied onto any computer. From the computer, users can copy that music onto Sony portable digital music players.

The CDs also allow users to connect to Web sites with exclusive features such as bonus songs and concert tickets. The features are only available if you have the original CD.

Such features are already available with Sony artists like Tori Amos and AC/DC. But the new discs combine the "second session" copy protection with the bonus features, which Sony is calling "ConnecteD."

Sony plans to evaluate customersi reaction to the new technology before introducing it in other countries. Wiser declined to specify a timetable for which the technology will be available in the United States.

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"All copy-protections can be hacked," Wiser said. "But if give people what they are asking for in terms of value, they wonit go out and steal it. Itis called trusting the consumer."

For the full article, stop by Wired News.

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