Allegro's MailZone Blocks MP3 Files

Last week, the Secure Digital Music Initiative announced that it would allow free MP3 downloads to co-exist with new encrypted forms of digital music transmission. Despite this, widespread concern in corporate legal departments about copyright-violation liability has prompted software developers to come up with blocking techniques to prevent pirated music from entering company "Intranets."

Allegro, a major outsourced messaging company, has developed technology to prevent illegal MP3 files from ever entering a computer system. MailZone, as Allegro has designated it, is security software with the ability to scan incoming and outgoing Internet mail for specific MP3 attachments. When it detects a prohibited attachment, it removes the file and sends a notice to the recipient and sender that the message was stopped. Among Allegro's clients are Mercedes-Benz U.S.A., Vail Ski Resorts, Continental Airlines, Domino's Pizza, Inc., NASCAR Racing, Amtrak, and the New York Transit Authority—all of whom have installed MailZone.

"Legal suits can ensue from employees e-mailing or receiving illegal MP3 files," warns Allegro's public relations representative, Syndee Fox. "Companies can face huge fines for bootlegged material on their computer systems." According to a recent statement from Allegro, e-mails containing pirated music can result in fines of up to $500 per file for violating copyright laws. Companies who fail to delete such files from their servers can be held liable for amounts as great as $100,000, says Fox.