IBM and Sony to Collaborate on Copyright Management Technologies for Digital Music Content

Effort Intended to Accelerate Development of Digital Music Marketplace

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Los Angeles, CA - 15 Apr 1999: -- IBM and Sony Corporation today announced that they will collaborate on their respective copyright management technologies for digital music content. The collaboration involves Sony's MagicGate and OpenMG copyright protection technologies as well as IBM's Electronic Music Management System (EMMS), an e-business solution for the sale and downloading of music.

IBM and Sony aim to enable artists and content providers to more fully take advantage of the enormous growth potential of the market for digitally distributed music content, while protecting the interests of rights holders. This collaboration is also expected to benefit consumers by accelerating the introduction of an entirely new category of secure digital audio products that offer greater convenience and functionality.

Specifically, the two companies will cooperate to make Sony's copyright protection technologies interoperable with IBM's EMMS. This will enable OpenMG compliant personal computers and MagicGate compliant audio player/recorders, such as a "Memory Stick Walkman," to receive content purchased and downloaded over the Internet using EMMS. Using security features, all music content downloaded in this fashion would be recorded, played back, and copied in a manner that is consistent with the copy control settings selected by the content provider.

As part of this relationship, IBM and Sony are considering further cooperation to expand the capability of their respective technologies to provide additional music distribution services for consumers and the music industry.

"With EMMS, IBM has established itself as the technology leader for digital music distribution that protects the intellectual property rights of musicians and record labels," said Richard K. Selvage, general manager, IBM Global Media and Entertainment Industry. "Our work with Sony, the world leader in consumer electronics products, will help both companies better serve their music industry customers and create new opportunities to benefit from e-business."

"As an electronics company with strong commitments to the entertainment industry, Sony respect the rights of artists and other copyright holders," said Sunobu Horigome, President of Sony Corporation's Digital Network Solutions Company. "We share this vision with IBM, and we look forward to working together to propose to the music industry the technology solutions essential for establishing a secure platform that will offer consumers quick, convenient access to digital music content."

The Electronic Music Management System

IBM's EMMS combines an open architecture, scaleability and security features. Major components of the EMMS architecture include a content mastering system, tools for hosting music content and promotional materials, and tools for online music retailers supporting the sale of digital music to consumers. The system features a clearinghouse that tracks the sale of digital music content and manages access and usage privileges as designated by the music owner. In addition, IBM has developed OEM (other equipment manufacturer) toolkits that provide the foundation software developers and consumer product manufacturers can use for the creation of innovative end-user solutions for the management, security and electronic commerce of all forms of digital media.

MagicGate and OpenMG

Sony's MagicGate and OpenMG technologies have been designed to prevent unauthorized copying, playback and transmission of protected digital music content. OpenMG offers immediate protection for digital music stored by computers and compliant devices, whereas MagicGate protects digital audio content while it is stored on solid-state recording media and transferred between compliant devices and media. Sony plans to implement MagicGate as content protection for its Memory Stick solid-state recording media and compliant player/recorders, such as a Memory Stick Walkman.


Sony and IBM are committed to working with members of the music industry to build technology solutions to protect the value of digital entertainment content, while facilitating the creation of consumer value that will accelerate development of a vast new market for electronically distributed music content. Both IBM and Sony are participating in the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), an initiative that seeks to create a forum to bring the music industry and technology companies together in a common effort to develop standards for digital security and interoperability.

As previously announced, IBM is working with Sony Music Entertainment Inc., BMG, EMI, Universal Music, and Warner Music to employ EMMS in the first-ever market trial of a system that combines security features and convenient and fast distribution of full-length, CD-quality music albums to consumers over networks.

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM is helping media and entertainment companies worldwide take advantage of the business opportunities made possible by digital technology. IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, networking and service offerings that is transforming the traditional creative and business processes of media and entertainment companies and positioning them to leverage their intellectual assets into new commercial opportunities. For more information on IBM strategy for the media and entertainment industry, contact

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $51 billion for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 1998, and it employs 170,000 people worldwide.

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