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Macrovision moves to acquire Midbar group

Copy protection leader Macrovision has unveiled plans to acquire Israeli competitor Midbar Technologies in a deal worth $17m.

In a parallel move - which was announced to the US Nasdaq market last Tuesday - Macrovision will also take over the music copy protection and digital rights management (DRM) assets of TTRE Technologies.

The deals will enable Macrovision to offer music companies one-stop solutions for copy protection and DRM systems, says Brian McPhail, vice president of Macrovision's music and consumer software division.

Following the deal, music companies will be able to license a single range of safeguarding technologies from one company, so reducing integration difficulties, he adds.

Macrovision is a world leader of yellow book technology - which covers data discs - while Midbar's expertise is in red book technology, which covers music discs. Midbar had previously had deals to supply copy protection technology to companies including BMG, EMI and Universal, amounting to some 45m audio CDs.

McPhail says the key for the future of copy protection technology is a shift of emphasis from prevention to enablement.

"We realised about a year ago, that copy protection is just one side of the story," he says. "Consumers want to be able to export their music to portable devices and burn their own CDs. The labels are happy to have you do that, providing there is a degree of control."

Macrovision's new solution, SafeAuthenticate, allows such accessibility for consumers, under a controlled environment, he adds.

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