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Interactive Week: Microsoft Benefits From Content Protection; Windows Media Format puts it in OS

Feb 03, 2001, 14:14 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland)

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"Without much fanfare, Microsoft has captured a leading spot in the content-protection business, a role that is fostering closer relationships between the software giant and music labels and movie studios."

"The last several months have seen most of the major music labels release songs in Microsoft's Windows Media format, which has built-in copy protection, or DRM (digital rights management) technology. Most of the labels are quick to say they are technology agnostics, but in a few cases their commercial download services are using exclusively Microsoft technology."

"What Microsoft has done is as close to my mission statement as anything I've seen," said Jay Samit, a senior vice president at EMI Group. "They're making it as easy to buy music as it is to steal it."

"The idea of protecting songs, movies or other content from being copied and distributed has been a controversial one among technologists and consumers. But it's becoming clear that Microsoft is betting on the technology to extend its reach deep into the digital entertainment world, with hopes of becoming the standard infrastructure for delivering music, video, games and other digital files."

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