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BMG Licenses CD Copy-Protect Technology

7/03/2003 09:51:00 AM Eastern

New York - BMG became the first of the five major music companies to license SunnComm’s MediaMax CD copy-protection technology for use on commercial CDs.

BMG declined to say when MediaMax CDs would be available in the United States, but a spokesman said, “We feel the MediaMax CD-3 technology is at a level suitable for the consumer market.” BMG previously licensed SunnComm’s technology for use on promotional discs distributed in the U.S.

The company, however, hasn’t marketed copy-protected discs to U.S. consumers.

Macrovision, SunnComm's main rival in CD copy protection, said the announcement underscores growing momentum in the U.S. music industry for copy-protected CDs. 'The tide has turned,' said Macrovision marketing VP Adam Sexton.

He expects 'major commercial releases' in the U.S. of copy-protected CDs in the 'hundreds of thousands' by Christmas.

Many of them will use Macrovision's latest technology, CDS-300, he predicted. Deployment will grow more widespread in 2004, he continued.

Phoenix-based SunnComm bills its MediaMax CD-3 solution as a “new approach to reducing casual piracy.”

SunnComm’s technology, like Macrovision's CDS-300, blocks PC playback of a disc’s Redbook CD audio tracks, but through a PC's standard Windows Media player, it lets PCs play compressed Windows Media Audio (WMA) files that also reside on the disc.