EMI ditches copy-protection on iTunes Store
LONDON (Updated) – Wall Street Journal reports that EMI Group will today announce that it will start selling music on Apple's iTunes Store without copy-protection. EMI, the world's third largest music label, will be the first major record company to ditch digital rights management (DRM) from its catalog. The announcement is scheduled to be made in a press conference featuring the Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs.
EMI Group had reportedly attempted to sell DRM-free music in the past but met resistance from online music stores who demanded "insurance" payments to guard against potential increase in piracy and lost sales.
It was already reported earlier this year that EMI will remove copy-protection from its CDs.
Update: EMI has published a press release stating that they and Apple will indeed start to sell DRM-free music on iTunes Store. The DRM-free tracks will have twice the quality compared to the ones with copy-protection, but they will cost €0.30 (or $0.30) more. Old iTunes users will be able to "upgrade" their existing songs to the better quality by paying just the price difference. EMI's DRM-free songs and music videos will be available on iTunes in May. EMI is planning to expand the programme to variety of digital music stores "within the coming weeks."
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