Giving the RIAA the Finger

As a result of the RIAA's aggressive attempts at legislation and lawsuits, it is widely understood that government control is an integral component of the music industry's plans to limit the ways in which copyrighted music can be used. But how far will the industry go to control the technology used to play back your favorite tune?

How about fingerprinting every consumer as they push Play? Earlier this year, biometric security company Veritouch announced that it was working with Swedish design firm Thinking Materials to create a portable media player called the iVue. The iVue is no ordinary device, however. The hand-held audio/video player is claimed to be the first device "capable of biometrically encrypting and decrypting digital media content."

Veritouch says that only an "authorized user" can authenticate use of the player via a fingerprint and then use iVue to listen to music or watch videos. "The iVue's unique security architecture eliminates piracy and prevents illegal copies from being made of music, videos, and video games delivered wirelessly or on mini-DVD disk," says the company. The company adds that the iVue can also be connected to play files on the user's existing A/V equipment.

Veritouch revealed last week that the RIAA and MPAA were given demonstrations of the iVue's fingerprint security capabilities. "In practical terms, our breakthrough in anti-piracy technology means that no delivered content to a customer may be copied, shared, or otherwise distributed because each file is uniquely locked by the customer's live fingerprint scan," says the company.

Thinking Materials' Christian Bartholdsson says, "These days, the key to a successful product is the right combination of looks and function. With iVue, I believe we have created a great platform for how the next generation of media players will work."