DRM Free Music: Not as soon as you think

February 26, 2007 // 6:03 p.m.

Tags: #compensation #downloads #drm #drm-free #emi #itunes #money #online

Companies: #riaa

As compensation for releasing music DRM free, EMI wants to charge more. It has requested an up front payment as compensation for releasing its music DRM free. The label has been talking with Apple, Microsoft, RealNetworks, Yahoo and Amazon, but they have reached a stalemate as neither side can reach an agreement.

The situation has been further complicated due to the fact that Warner Music is currently making an effort to buy EMI and, as a member of the RIAA, they have publicly stated that they are committed to DRM.

As CD sales continue to fall and more people are turning to online to buy their music, companies seem keen to try new things to differentiate themselves whilst keeping revenue high.

Despite the recent open letter from Steve Jobs, there's no doubt DRM free music would benefit other companies with lower of a market shares. Thus by offering DRM enabled music, it allows Apple to lock people into using the iPod player in conjunction with iTunes. Before the letter, Apple wasn't involved in the talks between content distributors and EMI about offering DRM free music.

No one seems to have told EMI that cheap and freely available music is more likely to quell piracy if it's easy to get hold of online from popular legal download sites like iTunes, and that virtually everything with DRM has been pirated anyway.

So, pay more for DRM free music or just keep things as they are and suffer the hassle that is digital restrictions rights management?
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