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EMI Records

EMI Wakes Up To Reality, Will Sell DRM-free Music on iTunes


By: Spacelab Research Staff
Welcome to the web world, EMI. In a bold move that seems rooted in the insecurity of "what should we try now," EMI made an announcement with Apple's Steve Jobs that EMI will be the first of the big heavies to jump in the ring in selling music without any DRM (digital rights management) protection. Unrestricted. Too hot for DRM.

The songs will be available starting in May through the iTunes music store. They'll be offered at a higher quality (256KBS), for a higher price ($1.29), with greater freedom to copy them anywhere (any MP3 player or computer out there).

Similiar to the recent Complete My Album offer from Apple, you can upgrade your previously purchased music for the price difference of 30 cents, rather than having to but them all over again at full price.

The announcement came in reaction to a struggling decline of the major labels to sell CDs and DRM protected music, and an attempt to jump out in front of the other big heavies in the MP3 thing. It will include all of EMI's songs, albums, and music videos.

"Apple will reach out to all of the other major and independent labels to give them the same opportunity. We think our customers are going to love this, and we estimate that well over half of the five million tracks offered on Itunes today will be also offered in DRM versions by the end of this calendar year. This is a landmark event, and is the beginning of a major shift that will take place this year, resulting in consumers being able to purchase from any digital music store and be able to play it on any digital music player," said Jobs, speaking at joint news conference in London.

Steve Jobs will like the fact that the European Union will probably get off of his back to some degree over the copy protection scheme iTunes employs. EMI will probably like the fact they, as the smallest of the heavies, will lead the way on what looked like an inevitable choice anyway. Music fans should be happy that their music has been liberated to work anywhere, anytime, on any player.

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