12475Re: Clip: Unprotected music from Apple?
- Apr 2, 2007Reuters confirms it.
Apple to Sell EMI's Music Without Copy Protection
Published: April 2, 2007
LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - EMI said it was making its digital music
catalog available without the anti-piracy measure known as digital
rights management (DRM), with Apple Inc.'s iTunes as its first retail
Skip to next paragraph Reuters
"The new higher quality DRM-free music will complement EMI's existing
range of standard DRM-protected downloads already available," EMI said
in a statement on Monday as the company began a press conference in
central London with Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs.
"From today, EMI's retailers will be offered downloads of tracks and
albums in the DRM-free audio format of their choice in a variety of
bit rates up to CD quality," EMI added.
Apple said iTunes would make individual tracks available from EMI
artists at twice the sound quality of existing downloads, with their
DRM removed, at a price of $1.29, 1.29 euros and 99 pence.
As expected there was no announcement regarding a Beatles deal, as
some followers had anticipated when EMI announced on Sunday that it
would hold a press conference with Apple.
EMI has acted as the distributor for the Beatles since the early
1960s, but the Fab Four's music holding company Apple Corps Ltd. has
been a high-profile hold-out from Internet music services like Apple's
Earlier this year, Jobs called on the world's four major record
companies, including EMI, to start selling songs online without
copy-protection software, known as DRM, for digital rights management.
DRM software is designed to thwart piracy but also makes using music
cumbersome for many consumers.
Jobs argued that there appeared to be no benefit for the record
companies in selling more than 90 percent of their music without DRM
on compact discs, while selling the remaining small percentage of
music online encumbered with DRM.
Executives at several rival record companies said they had expected
EMI to drop DRM but questioned whether EMI had done sufficient market
research to justify the move.
"It's problematic," said one executive. "EMI haven't tested it enough
so they don't know what the market reaction is going to be to open
MP3s are an open audio format that allows digital music fans to share
songs or albums with other listeners. The music industry has shunned
the standard in favor of formats that require some form of copy
"The issues are will MP3s help expand the market and how will it
affect piracy? We just don't know," the executive said. EMI's biggest
market test was with Norah Jones' single "Thinking About You" in
January, while Sony (NYSE:SNE) BMG tested the market with Jessica
Simpson's "A Public Affair" last summer.
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