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BMG To Start Copy Management For Non-Commercial CDs

BMG will start issuing copy managed promotional CDs in the United States as part of its overall approach to protecting the use of copyrighted content, according to Pete Jones, President and CEO, BMG Distribution and Associated Labels. BMG labels including Arista Records, RCA Music Group and BMG Music Canada will start sending out copy managed promotional CDs for new releases as early as this month. The company did not disclose names of technology providers but announced that it will work with a number of companies on a non-exclusive basis.

While preventing a CD from being "ripped" or file shared, the copy management technologies approved by BMG will in most cases offer the benefit of PC playability and the option to transfer a full length recording or single to a secure portable device. This is made possible by "Digital Access," BMG's second session solution that enables the flexibility of PC playability and portability by adding a digitally encrypted file for each track on a CD. The only exception will be recordings that because of their length do not allow space on the CD for a second session.

"Intellectual property is at risk from rampant bootlegging, file sharing and CD burning, and music is only the first medium to fall victim at the costs of royalties to artists, revenues to labels, and jobs to the industry," said Jones. "We have a responsibility to protect the work of our artists but, at the same time, BMG wants our consumers to enjoy reasonable use, which the second session enables for both a PC and a secure portable device."

Jones added, "We are confident that these real world, non-commercial trials on promotional CDs will provide valuable feedback as we continue to monitor technological developments. Ultimately we hope to arrive at a copy management solution that offers consumers the experience the artists create and deserve reward for."

All of BMG's copy managed promotional CDs, both full length and samplers, will be labeled with appropriate language to inform DJ's, retailers, press and other industry recipients of the technology. In addition, each CD will include an email address for assistance or feedback.