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BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY NEWS: Indies Join Major Labels In Fingerprinting Songs Copyright & Sirius Signs Deal For Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament Through 2007

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

Audible Magic Corporation has launched a program that enables independent artists and labels to register their music with the company's anti-piracy information service for CD pressing plants. Offered through CD replicators that use Audible Magic's RepliCheck service for verifying copyrights, the program provides registration and digital "fingerprinting" of original works for a nominal processing fee. The company has previously entered into agreements with Universal Music and Sony to register their musical works.

"The song registration program gives the indie artist or label the control over their property that would usually require the huge budget or serious connections associated with being on a major label," said Micah Solomon, president of Oasis CD Manufacturing. Oasis is one of the largest independent-oriented CD manufacturers in the nation, and has registered over 200 independent artists with RepliCheck. "For minimal cost, the artist is assured their work will be identified, before pressing, by an anti-piracy/intellectual rights management system that is becoming standard among CD replication facilities."

RepliCheck combines patented technology for generating fingerprints, a proprietary technology for searching millions of fingerprints over the web in a matter of seconds, and a huge database of North American and world music to provide a unique solution to the CD replication industry. It is rapidly becoming a standard worldwide, used by companies such as Sanyo, JVC, Q-Media, Eva-Tone, Oasis CD and many others.

Michael Hacala is the drummer for Tangerine Trousers, named the outstanding acoustic group at the Detroit Music Awards and a recent RepliCheck registrant. The group has put out two CD's to date, and has played from Iowa to Nashville, recently headlining folk festivals in Ohio and Michigan. "All our work is copyrighted, but RepliCheck gives us a flexible way to manage our copyrights to help build our career," said Hacala. "We have a very good chance of knowing if anyone is recording our original material — and we're in a position to decide if the exposure will help us, or if we'd rather that our material not be used."

"This gives indie artists a way to protect their music from physical piracy, which despite the damage P2P file sharing has done, remains a big problem," said Vance Ikezoye, founder and CEO of Audible Magic. "We've also begun to deploy a solution that offers the same protection for P2P file trading, and in that area artists will have the flexibility to decide if they want to allow trading or not." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Sirius Signs Deal For Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament Through 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Sirius Satellite Radio signed a deal to air the men's NCAA basketball tournament through 2007, the latest move made in an attempt to draw customers through sports programming.

Sirius will broadcast every game of the tournament for the next three years, the network said Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sirius and its competitor, XM Satellite Radio, recently started signing personalities and sports leagues in an effort to attract new subscribers.

Last month, XM announced a $650 million, 11-year deal to air major league baseball games live.

The baseball announcement followed a five-year, $500 million deal Sirius signed with shock jock Howard Stern, who will debut in January 2006. Sirius said it would need to attract 1 million subscribers to cover the cost of that contract.

Sirius also has an all-NFL channel and a deal with College Sports Television which enables Sirius to air the games of 23 major-college teams – including Southern California, Notre Dame and LSU.

Sirius said last month that its subscriber base now tops 700,000 and is on track to reach 1 million by the end of the year. It charges $12.95 a month for 120 commercial-free channels.

XM now has 2.5 million subscribers who pay $9.95 a month for 130 channels of music and talk radio via satellite receivers. The company said it would need to sign up about 700,000 new subscribers over the course of the baseball deal to generate enough cash to cover its cost.

Westwood One currently holds the national commercial radio rights to the NCAA tournament.