Microsoft denies putting 'copyright cop' in Zune

Software maker takes issue with New York Times blog suggesting it may add some sort of copyright-filtering technology to the Zune as part of its deal to get NBC TV shows.

The New York Times suggested Wednesday that future versions of the Zune might come with a tiny cop capable of catching digital lawbreakers.

And no, I'm not talking about some sort of bundled action flick.

In a blog, the Times' Saul Hansell said that, as part of Microsoft's deal to get NBC TV shows, it had agreed to look into the possibility of adding technology into the MP3 player that would scan a user's collection for unauthorized content.

The blog cites Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn as saying that the software maker is exploring antipiracy measures with NBC. Microsoft issued a statement on Wednesday denying that there was any agreement to filter content.

"Microsoft has no plans or commitments to implement content filtering features in the Zune family of devices as part of our content distribution deal with NBC," the software maker said in a statement.

Sohn echoed the sentiment. "We've agreed to work with these guys on a number of issues, but we have no plans or commitment to put filtering technology as part of this arrangement with NBC," he told CNET News.com.

Microsoft launched its Zune video store this week with about 800 TV show episodes, including content from NBC, which earlier pulled its content from iTunes in a dispute over pricing and other issues. Despite the apparent coup with NBC, Microsoft is still lagging Apple badly on the sales front.

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