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RIAJ wants DRM on all Japanese mobile phones?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Sep 2009 19:44 User comments (5)

RIAJ wants DRM on all Japanese mobile phones? The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) is pushing for an agreement with music download sites and other entities in Japan that would see digital rights management (DRM) copy protection software being placed on mobile phones in the country. In Japan, handsets are branded, supplied and managed by the network operators themselves. Every year, about 330 million tracks are sold legally and delivered over-the-air in Japan.
It is estimated that as many as 400 million tracks are shared illegally each year. The Financial Times reported the story, citing anonymous participants in the talks. If the plan were to go ahead, when a user attempts to play a song on a mobile phone, the device would first consult online servers to check whether the file was legitimate.

If it wasn't legitimate, then the song simply wouldn't play. If the companies involved came to an agreement soon, then the technology could be rolled out in the country as early as 2011. Of course, there are some big questions that need to be asked about its practicality. What about legally "ripped" tracks from a purchased CD? How could they possibly be verified - or would they simply not be allowed to play on the phone either? What about free music?

Also, it is likely that for the plan to work, all companies offering legal downloads in the country would have to participate in it, for music to be "authorized" before being played - and so would all carriers. It is a sad fact that while online stores in other countries are increasingly stripping away restraining DRM content, Japan's record company trade group wants to push the country in the opposite direction.

Overall, it doesn't sound very plausible, but just the fact that it has been proposed and is being discussed seriously should be disturbing in itself.

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5 user comments

114.9.2009 21:32

Personally, I think that this plan, if passed, would be taken out almost immediately. The uproar from the people would absolutely insane considering almost literally everyone has a cellphone in japan, and listens to music off of them.

214.9.2009 22:30

Wouldn't suprise me if they passed it...nothing suprises me since the DMCA got signed.

315.9.2009 0:24

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Wouldn't suprise me if they passed it...nothing suprises me since the DMCA got signed.
I hear that

415.9.2009 1:23

Originally posted by 21Q:
Personally, I think that this plan, if passed, would be taken out almost immediately. The uproar from the people would absolutely insane considering almost literally everyone has a cellphone in japan, and listens to music off of them.
Ye, I don't see it as a realistic goal at all, it's simply unbelievable to think that any agency should be allowed to automatically check _any_ details on what music you try to listen to, it's a gigantic privacy violation.

515.9.2009 8:58

Privacy? Since when does anyone truly have privacy; you may not know it but your own gov't likely knows when you take a piss each day just by monitoring water/sewage consumption and hydro bills. We haven't seen privacy since the early 1900s and it has been getting worse than ever as the digital age grows.

Forget that the issue even stems on privacy; it's the fact that legal songs a person owns because they bought it on cd may not be able to play on a cell phone. How about "free" songs from indies or even samplers from recording artists? Oh wait according to RIAJ, and others like them, "free" - is not existent in any music of any form. And as long as the gov't agrees they can make money of these idiots ideals, they'll continue to approve such stupid legislation.

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