Exclusive: Creative boycotts CeBIT over MP3 ban - Update

Creative won't be bullied by music industry lap dogs and decides to quit CeBIT, but show organisers say 'what ban?'
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

One of the world's leading multimedia manufacturers, Creative Technology, is boycotting the world's largest computer show, CeBIT.

The annual Hannover event has, according to Creative, bowed to pressure from the music industry and banned all MP3-related devices. Creative has several such devices in its catalogue and objects to the event organisers' apparently draconian measures.

CeBIT officials told ZDNet UK News Tuesday that there is no ban on MP3 devices although a spokeswoman does admit that prior to the show, organisers considered excluding them because "CeBIT is a business to business fair with a business to business focus".

While it is true that CeBIT covers the B2B arena, it is not accurate to describe it as having only a business focus. ZDNet has covered CeBIT for several years covering the consumer events there, including the showcasing of major consumer peripherals such as graphics cards and processors.

Evidence of the organisers' uncomfortable position with MP3 is evidenced by this year's brochure which carries no mention of MP3, only 'digital audio devices'.

"If an exhibitor asked us whether they could show MP3 devices we would say yes," says a spokeswoman for the show. "[Creative] never asked us. It's their problem not ours. We don't even know if they understood the situation."

ZDNet will bring you up to date on this story shortly

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