Coming Soon: An "Online Toll Booth" For Music Sharing Universal Music Group, Microsoft and five other companies are expected to announce that they are collaborating on a new technology that would allow Internet users to share digital content online, while making sure copyright holders are fairly compensated. The Content Reference Forum, which would function as a sort of online "toll booth," also includes Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., chipmaker ARM Holdings, Internet security company VeriSign Inc. and rights-management specialist Macrovision Corp. Under the system, consumers would share customized links (known as "content references") instead of the actual files themselves. The link would trigger hidden messages that would determine what kind of file your PC can accommodate, how much you should pay for the content, and how the money would be split among the chain of distributors. UMG SVP Advanced Technology Albhy Galuten tells the Los Angeles Times that by utilizing the technology, labels could offer free albums to the first 5,000 downloaders, before using an escalating price structure.