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3/31/2006
06:36 PM
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Gibson Guitar CEO Says DRM Challenges Market

Internet anonymity and consumer confusion make digital rights management problematic, says chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz.

Gibson Guitar Corp. is preparing to launch a digital audio product line supported by gigabit Ethernet, but rights management is presenting the company some challenges, chairman and chief executive officer Henry Juszkiewicz told attendees of Digital Hollywood Spring in Santa Monica, Calif.

During a debate earlier this week over intellectual property protection, fair use rights and digital content distribution, Juszkiewicz said enforcement for digital content being shared on the Internet has not been properly dealt with. The problem, he said, begins with anonymity on the Internet.

"You can't enforce activity you can't see," he said. "Authentication similar to technology used in software products could easily translate into protecting the content."

Consumer confusion about digital rights management (DRM) remains the biggest issue in 2006, Juszkiewicz said.

"The basic person is confused about DRM, and what they can and cannot do," he said. "It's a major market impediment."

Last year, Gibson and semiconductor manufacturer Cirrus Logic Inc. announced an agreement to develop a line of digital audio networking products beginning in 2006. The project is supported by next-generation gigabit Ethernet designed to provide high-bandwidth for audio and video applications.

Cirrus Logic and Gibson said they would jointly develop specifications for the new software protocol.

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