Labels to take fingerprints

Tuesday, 12 August 2003, 4:07 PM EST

The new arrangement, expected to be announced Tuesday, will see Universal give Audible Magic a "fingerprint," or digital identification tool, for each song it releases, before albums are shipped to retailers. The company uses those fingerprints to identify copyrighted songs online or in other venues such as CD-manufacturing plants to help guard against unauthorized copying.

Audible Magic already has information from Universal and other labels in its databases, but getting the songs directly from the label before release will help make the identification business more efficient, Audible Magic CEO Vance Ikezoye said.

"What it does is accelerate the time to get music into our database," Ikezoye said. "That's when piracy is the biggest problem--right around the release date."

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