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Digital Music Battle Has Just Begun

Techstination feature for Thursday, March 29, 2001

The battle over digital music has only just begun. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. With Napster continuing to rally its troops... circulating online petitions to try to stay alive... the fight over the right to download and swap digital music files is far from over. Following a court order, Napster has stopped indexing nearly 230 thousand song files ..on the copyrighted list provided by the recording industry. In the meantime... companies like Intel and IBM are continuing to work on technology to open the doors to digital music commerce. IBM digital music expert Scott Burnett says a recent survey shows many consumers would be willing to pay for downloadable songs...

"Only 17 percent of those responding had indicated that they have ever downloaded or used file sharing services. So that means 83 percent of Americans polled who have access, have never used file sharing or downloaded music. Of those who were polled one third of them would be willing to pay for such an online file sharing service."

And Burnett says those polled overwhelmingly support technology that will allow them to move their digital music files in a secure way onto portable devices. IBM is pushing its own digital rights management solution and has Sony as an ally. What remains elusive... is a universally accepted digital rights security standard. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.