Two of the biggest names in copy-protection have now been merged. Macrovision has acquired the technologies developed by Midbar Tech and it intends to use these to help mature its own copy-protection system.
Macrovision are famous for their industry standard video copy-protection. They hope that their SafeAudio and SafeAuthenticate products will one day have the same impact on audio, and this new merger could be the move they need to finally develop the killer system the music industry has been waiting for.
So far the race to develop an audio protection system has been scarred by problems, for example some systems have caused Mac computers to freeze when a copy-protected CD is inserted. Other companies fighting to develop a standard are Sony and SunnComm, but the confidence in current technologies is low due to technical problems experienced with deployments attempted so far; the merging of the Macrovision and Midbar techniques gives hope to overcoming these issues as the technical developments of both systems can be combined.
Macrovision have claimed that "We've kind of learned over the past year that consumers are really fighting this". A division of Gartner research group has told ZDNet that the "lack of digital rights management standards" is the problem facing the companies involved at the moment and their research director, when asked about this new move, has said: "I think this will accelerate some of the experiments that are currently going on".
News source: ZDNet UK