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"We are focused on ensuring that we improve the consumer value of CDs with a drag-and-drop digital access of the music while at the same time taking the appropriate steps to safeguard our artists, copyright holders and publishers against piracy. SunnComm's MediaCloQ can be an important part of this puzzle."
——BMG's Sami Valkonen
BMG TO EMPLOY CLOQ’ING DEVICE
SunnComm Technology To Make CDs Hard To Record, More Enjoyable For Consumers!

BMG Entertainment will test a new technology designed to help stem the tide of illicit duplication of music offered on compact discs, signing an evaluation agreement with techco SunnComm, the companies announced today.

The move is just part of the record industry’s reaction to the rise in popularity of CD burning by consumers (hitsdailydouble.com, 7/25). CD-R sales are expected to hit 1.5 billion this year, thanks to the fact that more than 75% of all computers sold in America now come with built-in CD burners.

With this agreement, BMG is able to test SunnComm's MediaCloQ Digital Content Cloaking Technology as a part of its overall approach to managing the use of copyrighted materials on CDs in a consumer-friendly manner. For the previous sentence, please use the definition of "consumer-friendly" that means "business-friendly."

Calling the agreement "a landmark event for SunnComm," SunnComm President Peter H. Jacobs added, "By combining MediaCloQ with some innovative technologies BMG has developed in-house, we can inhibit illegal duplication of CDs while, at the same time, enhance the consumer experience. And by ‘enhance,’ I mean hinder."

Jacobs continued, "Consumers will have available to them new features and enhancements that will provide them greater ease of use while experiencing music within a new, more secure environment."

Which might make a wonderer wonder just how much easier it could be to put a CD in a player and press play, but we’re sure those experts know what they’re talking about.

According to BMG SVP New Media Sami Valkonen, BMG’s system, expected in the fourth quarter and up until now dubbed Digital Access, will include pre-ripped digital music files in a second section of the disc. Like enhanced CDs, the extra tracks will be seamless, launching and uploading the tracks when a consumer first puts the disc in a computer.

"To a user, it will be like they just put the CD into the player—they won’t even notice," says Valkonen.

The pre-ripped tracks will be downloadable to portable players. It will be left up to the individual BMG labels to choose which releases will employ Digital Access, though Valkonen says that copy protection of promos is a "no-brainer."

EMI VP New Media Ted Cohen recently stated that EMI is looking into a similar solution.

"We have been studying ways to manage CD copying for a year now and are pleased with our initial experiences with SunnComm," said BMG’s Valkonen. "We are focused on ensuring that we improve the consumer value of CDs with a drag-and-drop digital access of the music while at the same time taking the appropriate steps to safeguard our artists, copyright holders and publishers against piracy. SunnComm's MediaCloQ can be an important part of this puzzle. And by saying ‘puzzle,’ I don’t mean to imply that consumers will have anything to figure out. Or do I?"

"SunnComm was born out of the music industry," added SunnComm Chairman and Chief Technology Officer John D. Aquilino. "We are sensitive to the artists, the labels and the buying public whose collective input has played a large part in the creation of MediaCloQ. But mostly we are just excited about the cool name we chose for our technology and the fact that it is named after technology first introduced in the original ‘Star Trek’ TV series."

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