Microsoft says its Windows Media Data Session Toolkit will allow PC owners to play digitally protected CDs on their computers but prevent them from ripping or burning other copies of the CDs. $500 million has been invested into this technology.

Microsoft says that the technology utilizes different layers so the CDs can still be played on PCs. Earlier digital protection technologies prevented CDs from being played on PCs, and in many cases car and portable CD players too.

EMI and Universal are very enthusiastic about this technology. The article does note that the last technology to encrypt music on CDs was broken by red markers. How successful this technology can be for the industry has yet to be seen.