Microsoft Praises IRMA Anti-Piracy Certification Program

REDMOND, Wash., June 13, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today commended the International Recording Media Association (IRMA), representing the world’s leading replicators of optical media, for its leadership efforts to reduce piracy by establishing the IRMA Anti-Piracy Compliance program. Microsoft announced that it would encourage all contract replicators to become IRMA-certified under the new Standards and Procedures Version 2.1, which was unveiled in May. The announcement was made at REPLItech, a national conference of the optical replication industry.

The purpose of the IRMA Anti-Piracy Compliance Program is to protect intellectual property rights in the replication of optical media through adherence to procedures and guidelines that help prevent the inadvertent or intentional replication of unauthorized CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. The initiative, which has implications for the motion picture, recording and software industries, was developed with significant input from the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), Motion Picture Association (MPA), Business Software Alliance (BSA), International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Microsoft Corporate Attorney Tony Viera commended IRMA’s development of the Anti-Piracy Compliance Program and stressed Microsoft’s commitment to encouraging replicators to become certified.

“Even though many of the replicators with which Microsoft works are conscious about protecting against piracy, the IRMA compliance program can provide a second and third layer of defense to help ensure that the necessary and updated anti-piracy processes are in place,”
Viera said.
“The IRMA program provides the ideal method for replicators to play an unambiguous and vital role in the protection against piracy.”

“Content providers such as Microsoft now have a clear method of identifying the replicators that are serious about complying with stringent manufacturing and operational procedures,”
said Charles Van Horn, president of IRMA.
“Because we anticipate that other content providers will follow Microsoft’s lead and encourage this type of compliance, it makes sense for replicators to begin incorporating these normal business standards to more fully protect against inadvertently falling prey to piracy schemes.”

Modeled after the ISO 9000 program, the IRMA procedures specify a series of international standards for quality management and quality assurance. Building on these original specifications, the IRMA Anti-Piracy Compliance program contains sector-specific guidelines for the optical media industry regarding anti-piracy. IRMA will uphold the standards through internal audits and regularly scheduled surveillance.

The certification process will involve the following steps:

  • Optical media manufacturing plants must complete and submit an Application for Certification form.

  • Each plant can then send two key personnel to an IRMA Anti-Piracy training course and two key personnel to an IRMA Internal Auditing training course.

  • Plants are required to document and implement procedures to satisfy the IRMA Anti-Piracy Standard. Plant personnel must conduct internal audits to determine and verify that these requirements have been documented and implemented.

  • Upon completion of such actions, an IRMA team of certified auditors must perform a system audit to qualify the plant for a Certificate of Compliance.

  • Surveillance audits by the same IRMA team will be carried out at six-month intervals.

About IRMA

The International Recording Media Association is the advocate for the $17 billion worldwide recording media industry, representing all recording media formats and providing a forum for the exchange of management information on global trends and innovations.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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A photo from the REPLItech announcement will be available on PR Newswire at 1 p.m. EDT.

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