Music Stars Back HP in Piracy Battle

At a conference where products for recording and sharing digital content are in abundance, Fiorina said HP is determined to help stamp out the illegal copying of music and video by building tough protection technologies into virtually all its consumer products.

“We are very proud to stand on this stage and take a tough stand on digital piracy,” Fiorina said at her keynote address. “Too much digital content is still being taken illegally, undermining business models and artistic integrity.”

“Starting this year, HP will strive to build every one of our products to protect digital rights,” she said.

Songbirds Support HP
In a photo opportunity most CEOs only dream of, Fiorina was joined on stage by a string of music industry heavyweights. The chorus included U2 guitarist The Edge, Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg, and Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope label, which produces U2, Limp Bizkit, and others.

Iovine offered an impassioned, sometimes rambling speech about how file-swapping services like Kazaa harm the music industry, recording artists, and moral values.

“On behalf of Universal Music Group, we’re going to support HP to the point where they’re going to beg us to stop,” he said. “For a company that is willing to be this brave and forward thinking, we will show what our industry can do” to help HP in return, he said.

HP will build, license or acquire the best content protection technologies it can find to prevent its customers from illegally downloading and sharing copyright material, Fiorina said.

Its DVD Movie Writer, used to record video tapes onto DVDs, already includes protection technology that prevents consumers from illegally copying VHS tapes, she said. “Soon that technology will be in every one of our products.”

HP will also implement the broadcast flag into some of its products this year, she said. The technology has been endorsed by the Federal Communications Commission as a way of preventing consumers from recording digital television content and distributing it illegally over the Internet.

“And we’ll introduce new technology this year that will encrypt some recorded content,” Fiorina said.

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