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Sony to Offer DRM-free Music
Friday, January 4th, 2008 at 10:50 AM - by
Sony BMG, the last major label hold out in the DRM battle, is finally giving in and will begin offering copy protection-free music downloads in the first quarter of 2008. The record label hasn't revealed yet how much of its library will be available without copy protection, or whether or not it will offer those tracks through Apple's iTunes Store, according to BusinessWeek.
EMI was the first of the big four labels to offer DRM-free music. The organization began offering higher quality recordings without copy protection through the iTunes Store earlier in 2007 after Apple CEO Steve Jobs published an open letter condemning DRM practices.
Universal Music Group announced a DRM-free deal with Amazon MP3 later in the year, and Warner Music Group joined the Amazon MP3 band wagon shortly before the end of the year.
Sony has already dabbled with DRM-free music, but only in an experimental mode. The company offered promotional track downloads for some artists that were selling less than 100,000 units, and some of those performers gained mainstream exposure after the effort.
One anonymous Sony BMG executive commented "A lot of these tests have led people to believe that maybe this works."
With all four of the major record labels on board to offer DRM-free music, the demand for copy protected music purchases may finally begin to diminish.
David Pakman, CEO and president of the iTunes Store competitor eMusic commented "There won't be any DRM of significance by the end of 2008. The only time you will see it used is for rental services."
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