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IBM to Introduce Superdistribution Capabilities for Advancement of Digital Music Marketplace

IBM's Electronic Media Management System Offers New Security Features for Peer-To-Peer File Sharing

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Midem 2001, Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France - 22 Jan 2001: IBM today announced enhancements to its market-leading solution for the digital distribution of music with a number of key features including superdistribution. The IBM Electronic Media Management System (EMMS) new superdistribution capability, to be available in the first quarter of 2001, will allow the authorized peer-to-peer sharing of music or book files, giving retailers and consumers the ability to pass content to multiple recipients. EMMS' new feature set is intended to address the music industry's immediate need for a solution to create e-commerce and a viable business model around consumers' growing affinity for sharing music files over the Internet. Along with superdistribution, EMMS also provides support for the MusicMatch® Jukebox™ digital music software and the RealNetworks®, Inc. RealJukebox ™.

"As a technology provider and proponent of e-business, IBM is focused on helping businesses transform themselves for digital commerce, which is increasingly characterized by the digital distribution of goods and services," said Dick Anderson, general manager, IBM Global Media and Entertainment Industry. "For digital distribution to succeed as a business, content owners need to be compensated for their intellectual property and have access to technology that will enable different business models. EMMS' security features and new superdistribution capabilities are designed to meet these needs."

As a comprehensive electronic distribution and digital rights management (DRM) system, EMMS also addresses a long term need for the advancement of e-business. Gartner Group Inc. recently predicted 60% of e-commerce sites will use DRM applications by 2002 to protect their content and maintain revenue associated with that content. This will become increasingly important as businesses move from physical to digital distribution. The research firm sees DRM adoption beginning first with the music and book industries. However, the benefits of DRM technologies could extend beyond the media and entertainment industry to any industry needing to distribute digital media over open networks in a secure way. This could include government documents, health records or next-generation telecommunications services.

"Perhaps the biggest obstacle to the maturation of the digital music marketplace is record labels' inability to track and capture revenue associated with the digital distribution of their content," said Joshua Duhl, Contributing Analyst IDC Document and Content Technologies.. "EMMS' new superdistribution feature is a viable option that the music industry can use to provide a legitimate marketplace for consumers to exchange music files without infringing on content owners' intellectual property rights."

"IBM's planned introduction for superdistribution capabilities in EMMS is very timely as the music industry is looking for ways to balance consumer desires for downloadable music within our need for a viable business model," said Karl Slatoff, vice president, New Media, BMG Entertainment. "BMG looks forward to exploring opportunities with IBM through EMMS' superdistribution features."

EMMS New Features & Functionality

IBM plans to ship the new version of EMMS with the following enhancements in Q1 2001:

Superdistribution

Other features and functions

Since its debut, EMMS has received support from BMG, Handleman Company, JesterDigital, labelgate.com, Liquid Audio Japan, MediaMatec, music.co.jp, MusicMatch, NTT Docomo, RealNetworks, Reciprocal, Sony Corporation, Sterling Sound and Toshiba. EMMS was successfully tested in the first broadband music distribution trial conducted with the five leading record companies.

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