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Downloadable Music Gets Boost

New marketing developments promise to expand the availability of authorized downloadable music.

DataPlay announced the adoption of InterTrust’s digital-rights management technology for use in future DataPlay media and portable devices. In a second development, the Pressplay online music venture, owned by Sony and Universal, signed licensing agreements with six independent music labels to make their songs catalog available through the planned Pressplay online subscription service. And RioPort, the online music provider, announced the launch of a new online service that makes it easier for users of HP Pavilion Desktop and Notebook computers to purchase downloadable music.

DataPlay said it will use InterTrust’s DRM solution on a nonexclusive basis. “We will be supporting multiple DRMs,” said a DataPlay spokeswoman. “The decision of what DRM to use has really been one that has been driven by the labels. We have to support their specified DRM in order for them to release pre-recorded content on DataPlay media.”

DataPlay digital media and DataPlay-enabled devices will be available beginning the first half of 2002, she said. To date, Universal, EMI and BMG plan to release prerecorded music on DataPlay media.

InterTrust’s DRM is already used by select authorized download sites and in select Internet audio portables.

Separately, Pressplay announced that its licensing deal with six independent labels will add hundreds of artists to its planned music-streaming and -download service. The artists include Alison Krauss, Graham Parker, Mannheim Steamroller and Buckwheat Zydeco. The labels are Madacy, Navarre, OWIE, Razor&Tie, Roadrunner and Rounder.

Previously, EMI agreed to license its catalog to the service, which will also offer Universal and Sony titles.

In the third announcement, RioPort said it will provide tens of thousands of authorized music tracks, as well as e-commerce and hosting functions, to HP’s new Digital Music Store.