Editorial: Intertrust Technologies Bolster BMG & Mushroom - Publication: Sydney Morning Herald

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In what is claimed to be the first legal digital download service in Australia, Californian based Intertrust Technologies, a specialist in peer-to-peer distributed digital rights management technology, have entered a deal with BMG Australia and Festival Mushroom to supply their DRM technology for local digital music downloading.

DRM technology serves as a foundation for peer-to-peer and client server e-commerce, meaning the digital music of BMG and Mushroom will be sold and distributed legally and in accordance with copyright rules.

The DRM system also features a module for the integration of retail shopping carts, as well as the ability to play
the downloaded music through multiple music players.

InterTrust holds numerous patents in the area of systems technology and peer-to-peer rights management, licensing its technology and patents in the form of software and tools to partners.

InterTrust core partner MERCURiX will provide the clearinghouse services forthe commercial music distribution system, and the retail site will be operated by recently formed WireRecords a joint venture ofSanity.com (ASX:SDC) and ehyou.com.

The deal was announced at the recent Pacific Circle Music Fest, a brainy version of the ARIAS minus the blonde hair and leather pants, where rock and roll types attend lectures about issues such as digitial technology, global marketing and copyright law .

Commenting on the deal, Peter Williams, VP Business Strategies for InterTrust Technologies, who also worked closely with Universal Music to launch their On lineMusicsite “Bluematterî said, “ I am particularly pleased to see thislaunch take place and for InterTrust to be a keyplayer, too often Australia has to wait while the rest of the world tests out new ideas.

"There is clearly a strongmarket here and we are keen to see the content companies and e-tailer sites utilise our Digital Rights Management Technology to bring music to the consumer in a protected, commercially trusted format.

Australian Artists need to know that they can safely sell their music through this format and we arepleased to be able to offer them the cutting edge technology that makes this possible.”

According to Intertrust, BMG and FMG content accounts for 17% of the local music market marking a big opportunity for the company.

Also commenting at Pacific Circle, Tim Prescott from BMG Australia said, " The first-generation technology to provide music for sale over the Internet is here, and whilst there will be much to learn and improve upon, we are proud to be making this move at this time. This trial is an important step in the processof preparing our industry for the legitimate distribution of music online".

The deal comes in the wake of BMG's recent mammoth push for digtally available product, with the company currently making its current hit artists' music available for download on an ongoing basis.

Beyond its initial offering, it will make as many as 2500 albums and singles available from its catalogue before the end of 2000 .The launch initially includes a total of more than 100 singles and albums from BMG artists across a number of musical genres and labels.

Current DWS technology supports MusicMatch Jukebox and Lycos Inc.’s Sonique audio player. Future releases will include additional features to further enhance usability and consumer reach, such as gift functionality and subscription models.

Written by Craig Stephens

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