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EMI sale unlikely to affect DRM-free downloads

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 25 May 2007 18:59 User comments (3)

EMI sale unlikely to affect DRM-free downloads The proposed sale of EMI to Terra Firma in a deal worth over $4 billion is unlikely to affect EMI's deal with Apple Inc.'s iTunes to sell music downloads without Digital Rights Management (DRM). Both companies announced last month that EMI's catalog would be available on iTunes without any DRM included and with a higher bitrate for 30c more than the standard 99c price per track.
Neither of the companies have commented yet on how the sale would affect DRM-free downloads, but one industry analyst expects the DRM-less tracks to be available on schedule. "EMI made its decision to side-step DRM in part to demonstrate its forward-thinking strategy, so potential purchasers would see greater value in the company," said Aram Sinnreich, founder and managing partner of Radar Research, a Los Angeles media consulting firm.

Sinnreich added: "They can't renege on the deals very easily without the value of the company plummeting." Many believe that EMI's decision to drop DRM is good for the growing market for music downloads and for consumers. It is unknown, however, if the new owners would keep EMI's current strategies and vision for the future of the industry.

While EMI made the decision to offer its entire catalog without DRM, other record companies fail to share the vision. Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr is an advocate for the continued use of DRM, and strongly disagreed with Steve Jobs' open letter to record labels urging that DRM be dropped completely. "The notion that music does not deserve the same protection as software, film, video games or other intellectual property, simply because there is an unprotected legacy product in the physical world, is completely without logic or merit," he said at the time.


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3 user comments

126.5.2007 5:24

I think this non DRM move from emi will benefit them greatly :)

227.5.2007 14:50

iunno about that. most ppl downloading off the itunes library right now are pretty uneducated about this kind of stuff. they see something saying NON DRM music available here, they wont care, theyll still to the .AAC format theyve always been downloading... unaware that if they want to move from apple at any point, their screwed.

318.6.2007 17:44

Regardless of existing user knowledge, DRM free is a good thing.

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