Friday, August 10, 2007

bye bye drm. . .

what did i say? way back . . . and not just me, but everyone else. DRM is doomed. Universal is actually doing some real work on sorting out what the future will be, and doing so outside of iTunes, since real experimentation is impossible there. . .

Universal to Test Sale of DRM-Free Tracks Everywhere but iTunes
Submitted by Mark Hefflinger on August 10, 2007 - 10:59am.

New York - Universal Music Group announced on Friday that it plans to experiment with selling a portion of its catalog free of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions from a number of online retailers, including, RealNetworks' Rhapsody, Best Buy and Walmart -- with the notable exception of Apple's iTunes Store.

The songs will be available in 256K MP3 format for the same price as DRM-wrapped tunes -- 99 cents per song -- and be available from later this month through at least January.

Universal Music told the Los Angeles Times the test is being conducted partly to see how sales and piracy rates will be affected if songs are offered without DRM, adding that Apple was excluded so "iTunes could serve as a 'control group' to make sales comparisons easier."

Analysts said the exclusion of Apple by Universal was also aimed at curtailing Steve Jobs' growing influence on its business.

Universal will help drive traffic to the DRM-free downloads using Google ads that link directly to digital retailer gBox; the songs will also be offered from some artist and label websites.

The only other major label to experiment with DRM-free songs thus far has been EMI, which sells high-quality MP3s at a premium price of $1.29 each at iTunes and other retailers.

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