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Macrovision acquires Midbar, cuts TTR link

Cyberbiz Brief

Macrovision said it has acquired Midbar Tech, an Israeli maker of software controlling music copying. It also ended an alli-ance with TTR Technologies while buying that company’s software to prevent music copying and manage digital rights. Terms of the deals were not announced.

Macrovision execs said the acquisitions will complement existing inhouse development work on anti-piracy software for mu-sic companies and shorten its development times for creating a complete suite of piracy-fighting software. Macrovision is trying to implement features that would allow consumers to “burn” copies of songs on rewritable CDs in a controlled manner and allow files to be exported to other consumer electronics devices.

Labels have been vexed in recent years by the spread of pirated songs encoded in the widely used, freely copied MP3 format. Attempts to put in place different copy-protection schemes and to sell music through label-owned services such as Pressplay and MusicNet have met with consumer indifference or even antipathy.

Midbar’s technology has already received three U.S. patents, with three others pending. It is widely used in Asia and Europe and has already been implemented on 45 million audio CDs. The TTR assets include three U.S. patents and eight more pending applications. The two companies have also ended a revenue-sharing arrangement.

Santa Clara-based Macrovision’s anti-piracy software is used widely on videotapes, audio and other outlets.

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