Universal Music Group (UMG), whose recording artists include Trisha Yearwood, Counting Crows, Nine Inch Nails, Bon Jovi and the Bee Gees, is working on a possible deal with MidbarTech to include the Cactus Data Shield anti-copy technology on all new CDs. Not to worry, says MidbarTech's marketing veep: The CDs will still play on your PC, as long as it's a Windows PC, that is.
According to this PCWorld.com article, UMG, the largest music company in the world, plans to begin using the scrambling on a small scale by the end of the year. The report says that the protected CDs won't play on PCs at all, but Noam Zur, v.p. of marketing for MidbarTech, told NewsForge that the CDs will contain an embedded, proprietary player that allows for replay (but not copying) on Windows computers.
Zur says that Midbar does have plans to create players for Linux and Macintosh, but that a projected timeline is not available. Besides, "we are developing a Web-based player," he says, that should eliminate any problems for alternative-OS users who want to play their CDs on home or work computers. He did not say when the Web interface would be available.