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Microsoft Patents Process To "Unpirate" Music 241

Unequivocal writes "A new Wired magazine blog entry shows that Microsoft has patented a technique for preventing and reversing music piracy at the hardware level. 'Microsoft and Apple are thinking along the same lines when it comes to enabling users to copy music between their wireless devices. Certain cellphones already allow you to [transfer music] via Bluetooth file transfer, but Microsoft's patented idea would take the concept further, by allowing users to trade MP3s that may have come from file sharing networks to one another, expiring the song on the recipient's device after three plays, unless the user pays Microsoft a fee in order to continue to listen to the track, with a percentage going to the person who provided the song. As the abstract puts it, "even [the] resale of pirated media content [can] benefit... the copyright holder."'"

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