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Recording industry seeks piracy lock on phones

Phone user
Yah - I can't play those Billy Idol tracks you just pinged me, Giles...

Not content with suing music fans for copying their favourite music, the record industry has decided to go one step further and may install piracy-checking software in the music players themselves.

That's one possible plan under discussion by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, which is trying to form a consensus with various industry bodies and mobile phone operators.

Little snitch

The notion is that the RIAJ would work with the phone companies to get verification software on every handset. It could then 'phone home' every time the audio player is activated to check if a track was bought legally or not.

Inside sources say not only is such a move possible because the phone networks dictate what software appears on handsets in Japan, but that it's highly likely to be up and running by 2011.

Non-conformers beware

Exactly where that leaves people wanting to listen to ripped versions of CDs they own or even their own recordings is unclear, but we'd wager a hefty sum on them being left out in the cold.