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September 30, 2004
Father of MP3 Format says DRM is killing the Digital Music Industry
News.com reports the comments of a founder of the MP3 standard, saying what we've all known all along: the number one roadblock to growth in the online music biz is not piracy, but DRM.
"It has slowed the download business for sure, and it's doing the same for the gadget makers," said Karlheinz Brandenburg, director of electronic media technologies at the Fraunhofer Institute in Ilemenau, Germany.
Consumers nowadays can store thousands of songs in a pocket-size device, play music and videos on their mobile phones, and buy albums at the click of a button.
But to their chagrin, a bewildering number of competing playback compression technologies and antipiracy software options determine which songs play on which devices.
Apple Computer, RealNetworks and Sony each have developed proprietary playback and DRM (digital rights management) antipiracy technologies. Songs bought on Apple's iTunes music store can play only on Apple iPods. Ditto for Sony.
The alphabet soup of technologies is meant to prevent fans from rampantly duplicating and transferring songs to others.
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