“The venerable MP3 music format, the technology most widely associated with unrestricted file swapping, is getting a makeover aimed at blocking unauthorised copying. Digital rights management (DRM) features will be added to the music format in a bid to block illegal copying,” ZDNet reports.
“Thomson and Fraunhofer, the companies that license and own the patents behind the MP3 digital music technology, are in the midst of creating a new digital rights management add-on for the popular format, a Thomson executive said on Tuesday,” ZDNet reports.
“The move is aimed at pushing more deeply into the world of authorised music distribution through services such as Apple Computer’s iTunes or the new Napster. All those new services sell music wrapped in digital locks — most in incompatible proprietary technologies by companies such as Apple, Microsoft or RealNetworks — while MP3 songs today are typically distributed free of copy controls,” ZDNet reports.
“‘Eventually, digital distribution will be a significant mass market,’ said Rocky Caldwell, Thomson’s director of technology marketing. ‘We think it will be served well by [digital rights management] that is based on standards. No one else seems to be proposing that,'” ZDNet reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Taking a pause to breathe between guffaws, we need to state that this is a wonderful idea! All kidding aside, MP3 with DRM is a magical combination: it sounds worse than AAC, results in larger file sizes, and will now be restricted with DRM. Fewer songs on your iPod that sound worse – sounds like a winner! Too little, way too late. Thomson and Fraunhofer must be very high, indeed.
And, yes, any Marketing 101 student could’ve told Apple they should have marketed “AAC” as “MP4” (which is what it is) and the so-called “format war” would be long since won.