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Amazon to start DRM-free music service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 23 Apr 2007 22:20 User comments (7)

Amazon to start DRM-free music service Rumors have been swirling for weeks that internet giant, Amazon will be the next major name to enter the world of unprotected music sales.
Amazon hopes to open the MP3 download store in May and many analysts see the retailer being the only company that can truly compete with iTunes.

According to a recent report in the UK's Times Online, Amazon has approached "all the music majors in the past fortnight" in hopes to launch its store by May. Amazon hopes to launch by May because that is when iTunes will begin selling DRM-free music from EMI and Amazon would like to launch with DRM-free music from EMI as well in order to compete.

Although Amazon's heart is in the right place, they will have a tough time competing with Apple. Apple has begun renegotiating with the Big Four and industry executives have stated that Apple will have the upper hand in pressing for DRM-free music due to their immense market share. Although the labels keep a strict facade about DRM, industry sources have noted that the rest of the Big Four following in EMI's footsteps is just "a matter of time."


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7 user comments

124.4.2007 2:15


224.4.2007 2:37

The thing that they got going for them is the anti DRM stand they are doing if they get this thing off the ground. But the next big hurdle is that the big companies allowing this to happen??

324.4.2007 4:15

More people waking up and realising DRM is losing them sales.


424.4.2007 4:52

DRM wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't SO MANY FLAVORS of it!!!

Seriously, do we really need FairPlay, Plays For Sure, whatever the Zune is using, Helix Real Audio, etc. If all these vendors would get on board with ONE standard that can be used in every player, then we wouldn't have this mess.

Instead, I blame Apple just as much as I would blame EMI or any other music group. There's no reason a song purchased off of Napster or Rhapsody shouldn't be able to be played on an iPod and vice versa, an iTunes song played on a Sansa. It's all ridiculous and I think Apple is the first one to figure out, "Hey, if we just get rid of this stupid DRM crap, we can really destroy the competition and increase sales."

On the other hand, DRM is too much for the average person to understand. Not having it would make it less confusing for Joe Consumer to figure out how to get a song to play on their MP3 player and their kids, plus burn it to a CD so they can play in their car. Apple has always been smart at being user friendly. Now they're taking it to the next level.

Of course, most of us reading this aren't the average Joe and this news really doesn't pertain to those who already have the means to bypass the shackles of DRM.

The real obstacle is convincing the RIAA that thousands of files that they let go without DRM, aren't floating freely around the net!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Apr 2007 @ 4:54

524.4.2007 6:03

iv been seeing comercials on tv for unlimited movie downloads for 9.99 per month, was wondering if anyone knew anything about this? i cant even remember the name to look it up. if you can keep the videos and its not a rental service and the videos are at least 720x480 and there is no DRM im down.

if its realy just a rental service or if the videos are low def or if i have to use some ghetto streaming-video stealing software just to keep and burn them then im not down.

624.4.2007 7:31

I can already copy music or movies on the regular movie channels (although not the separate 3mth old 'pay-per-view' movie channel(s) content) I record from Sky satellite TV on my PVR here in the UK (it is legal and a facility on the Pace PVR Sky supplied to me).

This is just the same as being able to tape off of the radio or video stuff like we used to do before (which again was perfectly legal).

I have no problem with going after people who seek to make serious money out of selling large amounts of pirated copies but efforts like this stupid and grossly expensive DRM nonsense just inconvenience and hurt the individual private home user - the pro priates got around it all long ago.

What kind of insane business amd it's mentally ill leadership wants to continue to piss off it's regular punters in the manner this DRM cr@p does?

To hell with their ranks of over-paid legal BS-spreaders.

I expect to be able to copy and keep some of the stuff I have paid for.
Whether it be saving music or a movie to disc from the TV channels I subscribe to (and therefore pay bl**dy handsomely towards the 'movie industry' every month) or British TV in general (which I pay a mandatory licence for, again contributing to the movie and music industries via the BBC's activities and the advertising on the independant channels, which a part of my day to day shopping pays for).

I've already paid, several times over in fact.

DRM itself is now hurting sales.

724.4.2007 9:40

I think it would be great for online music sales if Amazon entered the market. The competition may also force Apple to improve certain things about its music store.

But, I don't think all this DRM-less music will help the revenues for the music countries. The music companies need something entirely new, which I read about on Shelly Palmer's blog. He thinks they need something like iTunes for music licensing -- to let users license music for user-generated content.

Shelly's essay is worth checking out:


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