Japanese RIAA wants server-side music DRM for mobile phones

20 09 2009

Imagine the outrage that would occur if everyone’s iPhones and BlackBerrys wouldn’t let them play music until each song was authenticated on a DRM server as a legit purchase? Such a scenario could play out in Japan if the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) has its way—the organization is pushing for an agreement with music sites that could result in every phone checking with the cloud before playing the user’s selections in an attempt to curb music piracy within the country.

Executives from the RIAJ have begun talks with unnamed music download sites and mobile phone operators this week, according to anonymous participants speaking to the Financial Times. It works like this: when a user chooses a song on his or her phone, the phone would first talk to a server to see if the song was legitimately purchased from… somewhere. If the server gives the green light, the song will play; if not, the user is out of luck. If the companies come to an agreement by the end of this year, a system could be in place by 2011.

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