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BMG Releases Its First Commercial Copy-Managed CD in the U.S.

BMG, the worldwide music division of Bertelsmann AG, announced today that Arista Records will be the company’s first label in the U.S. to release a commercial CD using copy management technology. The CD, Comin’ From Where I’m From, by singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton, will be released nationwide on September 23rd. Until now BMG’s U.S. labels have used copy management technology only on promotional CDs as part of their overall approach to protecting copyrighted content.

“The consumer experience is BMG’s top priority,” said Thomas Hesse, Chief Strategic Officer, BMG. “Consumers who purchase this CD will have broad flexibility, including the ability to listen to it on a whole range of devices and players, and the ability to burn copies for their personal use. At the same time, this CD will not be able to be mass copied. Because of improvements in the SunnComm MediaMax technology, it is now possible to offer consumers the level of flexibility to which they have become accustomed while beginning to better protect our artists’ rights.”

Comin’ From Where I’m From utilizes a copy protection technology that allows the CD to play on nearly all standard playback devices including CD players, DVD players, car stereos, boomboxes, PCs, Macs, Walkman’s and game consoles. Using the original disc, consumers can transfer this album to their personal computers. From their computer, consumers can also transfer the music to a secure portable device and burn three copies to a CDR. This is made possible by “MediaMax CD-3 Technology,” SunnComm’s second session solution, which adds a digitally encrypted file for each track on a CD. The technology also makes it possible for Comin’ From Where I’m From to include a Web link to Anthony Hamilton’s website which contains videos, photos, upcoming appearances and other news.

“Anthony Hamilton’s passionate, soulful performances always take you to another place. Comin’ From Where I’m From stirs those same emotions, ” said Antonio “LA” Reid, President and CEO, Arista Records. “Copy management technology gives us an important new way to protect our artists’ rights which is crucial for us in terms of continuing to foster new talent and exciting music.”

In addition, the disc will also feature SunnComm’s PromoPlay Technology that allows consumers to share the music with a friend by providing the recipient with a link to the music, which can be downloaded and listened to for 10 days.

Hamilton’s Comin’ From Where I’m From, which will carry a $13.98 suggested list price, will be appropriately labeled to inform consumers of the technology and the range of uses that can be made of the product.

BMG is the global music division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading media companies. BMG owns more than 200 record labels in 41 countries including Ariola, Arista Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records and RCA Label Group – Nashville. In addition, BMG’s music publishing operations are the third largest in the world.

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