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Monday, January 21 12:00 AM ET

RIAA Plan for RFID Chips in CDs Will Prevent Unauthorized Sharing

By Brian Briggs and Scott Small

Los Angeles, CA - The RIAA is considering adding RFID tags to CDs to ensure that the CD is always with the buyer. With the tracking device, the RIAA and its member labels can make sure the CD buyer hasn't loaned a CD to a friend, or is playing it in an unregistered device.

"Since we can't stop sharing in the virtual world, we might as well take a crack at stopping it in the real world," said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA.

"Before you can play the CD, you must log on to their website and register all addresses where you plan to use the CD. The CD buyer can enter up to three addresses and three registered listeners. Those locations and people will then be added to our RFID/GPS database for tracking purposes," said Bainwol.

The plan would also require all new CD players to have GPS and RFID hardware installed to help stop piracy. Future plans would include a matching RFID chip implanted into the neck of the buyer.

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Brandon Carter of Savannah, Georgia, who is one of the three people left in the US who still buys CDs, was upset by the plan.  "I don't trust the RIAA with that information. If they get hacked, I don't want everyone to know I take my Shakira CD into the bathroom with me." 

The increased cost of adding the tracking technology should be minimal. It should, at most, only add another 5 or 6 dollars to the current price of CDs.

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