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12475Re: Clip: Unprotected music from Apple?

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  • Carl Z.
    Apr 2, 2007
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      Reuters confirms it.
      <http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/technology/tech-emi-apple.html>

      Apple to Sell EMI's Music Without Copy Protection

      By REUTERS
      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
      outlet.
      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
      iTunes.

      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."

      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
      protection.

      "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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