Sounds phony

Published: Saturday 30 November 1996

People will soon be buying CD-quality music by downloading it over a phone line, courtesy American company AT&T, which has applied to patent an administrative set-up that will ensure that publishers and musicians still receive royalties. The 'vendor' is any company which offers to send music down a phone line on order. The role of a 'referee' is played by another independent trade body which issues a permit to customers each time they pay a vendor to send a piece of music. The permit combines the music and the customer's player number, ensuring that the music can be de-encrypted and played only on the player owned by the person who has paid to receive it.

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