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Liquid Audio and 48 Leading Companies Form Coalition To Add Authentication Mark to Digital Music Formats Including MP3.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 25, 1999--

New Coalition Supports New "Genuine Music" Open Standard

and "Genuine Music" Mark Logo to Let Artists and

Consumers Identify Legitimate Digital Music

Liquid Audio, the leading developer of online music and audio delivery systems, together with 48 leading record labels, software and MP3 vendors, hardware vendors, rights societies, music retailers, music content Web sites, Web development companies, broadband providers, consultants, artists and producers today announced the formation of the Genuine Music Coalition. The mission of the coalition is to use the new "Genuine Music" open standard enhancements to digital music formats, including MP3, to provide digital authentication of the origin and ownership of music.

Coalition members will display a new "Genuine Music" mark logo in every piece of legitimately-encoded content sold or freely-distributed on the Internet. This will allow consumers to more easily distinguish between pirated content and legitimate content that has been approved by the content owner.

This new effort will be fully aligned with the goals, principles and efforts of the recently announced Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI). "Genuine Music" is not intended to be a substitute for the security to be provided by SDMI. It is the first step toward the broader industry solution that is envisioned by the SDMI process. By educating consumers about the value of legitimate content, the groundwork is being laid for broader adoption and use of the Internet as a legitimate marketplace for promoting and distributing music.

"Liquid Audio is playing a leadership role in helping the industry preserve the quality and authenticity of music distributed on the Internet and help create a market for legitimate content," said Gerry Kearby, CEO of Liquid Audio. "The 'Genuine Music' standard fully complements our Liquid Music System, which provides a secure platform for digital music distribution and commerce."

"Genuine Music"-marked MP3 files will be open and compatible with all existing MP3 players on the market as well as portable digital MP3 players such as Diamond Multimedia'ss vendors. Support for the new "Genuine Music" standard will initially be available in the Liquid Audio and MP3 formats.

The partners in the new coalition will workry Partners Join Genuine Music Coalition

Match, XING, GoodNoise Corp., Sonique and Adaptete Band List (UBL), SonicNet, House of Blues, Lulting companies such as OneHouse; artist Medessaid Steve Devick, president of Platinum Entertaers with confidence that the content they downloaded is authentic and gives the additional benefit of linking the consumer back to the artist or label for further information.

The technologies behind the "Genuine Music" mark include digital certificates for signing tracks and Liquid Audio's advanced digital watermarking tools. The tools to add the digital signature and to embed the Liquid Audio digital watermark will be provided royalty free to qualified content owners, software and hardware vendors participating in the Coalition.

"The Genuine Music Coalition is an outstanding concept with enormous promise for both consumers and music providers," said Michael Robertson, CEO of MP3.com. "Liquid Audio's proposal to make the tools and technology available at no-cost shows an understanding of the importance of standardization and demonstrates a real commitment to the future of digital music."

"Sales of Diamond Multimedia's Rio have already proven that MP3 is a widely embraced format," said Ken Wirt, vice president of marketing for Diamond Multimedia (Nasdaq:DIMD). "'Genuine Music'-marked MP3 addresses MP3's core problem: piracy. This new format will broaden consumers' choice by expanding legitimate music on the Internet."

"OneHouse applauds this new Genuine Music Coalition led by Liquid Audio," said Jim Griffin, president and CEO of OneHouse, a digital entertainment delivery consulting company. "It is one more step that empowers artists who choose digital delivery for their music, and every step in this direction benefits their audience."

Redwood City, Calif.-based Liquid Audio, www.liquidaudio.com, is the first Internet company focusing exclusively on the needs of the professional audio and music industries providing labels, artists, and production facilities with software tools and technologies to enable the secure online distribution of professional-quality audio. Liquid Audio's technology allows consumers to preview and purchase CD-quality music over the Internet, while ensuring copyright protection and tracking royalties. Formed by veterans of the music industry and professional recording engineers, Liquid Audio is leading the convergence of music and technology to establish the Internet as a new medium for music publishing.

Genuine Music Coalition Quote Sheet

"As an early adopter of technological solutions to advance the interests of copyright owners, from BDS to ARIS Technologies' Music Code, SESAC welcomes all initiatives aimed at providing greater protection to our members artistic efforts. With this in mind, SESAC applauds Liquid Audio for its efforts to advance this cause and looks forward to the opportunity to evaluate Liquid Audio's new initiative to assure that it meets our high standards from the perspectives of audio transparency, robustness, tamper resistance, and processing requirements."

"GoodNoise is pleased to support any initiative that helps encourage the legal use of the MP3 format to promote and sell music, without inconveniencing the consumer," said Gene Hoffman, president and CEO of GoodNoise Corp. "As one of the first companies to sell music in the MP3 format, we believe that initiatives such as the Genuine Music Coalition will help raise awareness among consumers and further expand the growth of downloadable music."

"The debate over the MP3 format's role in fostering piracy has overshadowed the important role it's played in delivering music to fans that might not otherwise have been exposed to it," said Steve Rennie, president of Ultimate Band List. "We think this initiative makes a strong statement to artists, record labels, copyright owners, and music consumers that the online music industry is committed to protecting the rights of artists and music producers. That's good for everybody."

"We believe that open standards based compression and copyright protection is ultimately a huge benefit for the consumers," said Karlheinz Brandenburg, department head of the multimedia department at the Fraunhofer Institut for Integrated Circuits, the original main developers (within ISO/MPEG) of the MPEG Layer-3 technology. "The Genuine Music Mark is certainly a big step in the right direction to provide better copyright protection for the MP3 format."

"Musicians are also embracing this new movement of legitimate digital distribution," said Liz Penta of Emcee Artist Management. "Blue Note recording artist Medeski Martin & Wood are voicing their support for the initiative and are already distributing secure music from their Web site http://www.mmw.net/. It's a wild frontier out there and this initiative provides a viable format for secure digital distribution, which is really exciting to us."
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Date:Jan 25, 1999
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