Apple refused to cooperate with NBC on building filters into its iPod player to remove pirated movies and videos, but Microsoft may be more willing to do so – or at least look into it, it seems. In an article published yesterday, The New York Times suggested that future versions of the Zune could come with a “copyright cop” capable of blocking unauthorized content.

According to the report, Microsoft, as part of a deal to get NBC TV shows onto its Zune Marketplace, had agreed to implement technology into the MP3 player that would scan a user’s collection for copyright infringing content. The software giant has denied such claims, adding only that they have agreed to work with NBC across a range of topics, including protection of copyrighted material. Just what kind of protection they are looking into remains unknown. One thing is for certain, implementing consumer-hostile DRM systems isn’t the way to go if they are serious about competing with the iPod.