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Macrovision, Websense Team on Anti-Piracy Spyware

8 Oct, 2002 By: Hive News

Digital rights management (DRM) provider Macrovision Corp. has partnered with Employee Internet Management (EIM) software company Websense Inc. to create a software product to monitor employee Internet use with the goal of stopping piracy, the companies announced today.

"The Internet's growth and the associated expansion of high-bandwidth connections within workplaces has, unfortunately, exposed a lot of companies to the dark side of the Web, such as illegally swapping music or video files, or downloading pirated software at work," said John Carrington, chairman and CEO of Websense. "Under our new partnership, Macrovision and Websense will help organizations protect themselves from these emerging liability threats. We envision several joint products that, using Websense Enterprise, will help companies manage these critical issues."

The companies will develop complementary systems aimed at preventing the unauthorized storage, use and distribution of copyrighted content within enterprise, government and educational institutions worldwide.

The software will be designed to provide a proactive defense against legal liabilities associated with unauthorized games, music, video, software and other digital content on company computing resources, combining Macrovision's proprietary technologies and experience in the field of digital signatures and fingerprints and Websense's patent-pending content classification technologies to identify and control downloading of "hacked" content and unauthorized redistribution of copyrighted material, such as movie and music files traded over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

A high percentage of unauthorized content is downloaded at work due to the broad availability of bandwidth and the ability to execute otherwise time-consuming downloads. In fact, according to a recent report from Jupiter Media Metrix, only 16 percent of home users have high-speed Internet access. By contrast, 57 percent of employees at work with Internet access use a broadband connection. By 2005, Jupiter predicts that number to increase to 87 percent of all employees.

The first product from the partnership, a Liability Protector add-on module for Websense Enterprise software, is expected to be launched in the second half of 2003. Websense claims it would help shield employers from potential legal liabilities by searching company servers and hard drives for copyrighted content found to have copy protection elements removed or bypassed from Macrovision's patented technologies for video, audio and software applications.

Coinciding with the release of the Websense Liability Protector module, Macrovision will launch SafeScan, a product allowing Macrovision's current CD-ROM copy protection customers to extend the copy protection ecosystem for those games that have been protected with Macrovision's patented SafeDisc technology. SafeScan is designed to prevent downloading and file sharing of "hacked" content in workplaces. "The concept of content security has broadened from a point focus of isolating security breaches in one distribution venue to a broader solution to limit the damage from any potential breach across venues," said Bill Krepick, president and CEO of Macrovision. "Our partnership with Websense is the first step in adding a multi-dimensional element to Macrovision's content protection and rights management offerings. SafeScan is an important step in expanding our content protection offerings into the enterprise space to encompass public and private networks, and to monitor and control copyright abuse such as unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing." Unauthorized peer-to-peer networks are becoming a critical threat to the content and information industries. In its September 2002 Congressional hearing on "Piracy On Peer-to-Peer Networks," the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) estimated that more than 2.6 million files are copied every month.

Another research firm, Viant, estimated in June 2001 that more than 300,000 to 350,000 pirated movies are downloaded from the Internet worldwide every day.

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