Update: Please see the MSFT/Zune response below. But first,
A funeral in which I have no plans to attend,
CUPERTINO, California–April 2, 2007–Apple� today announced that EMI Music’s entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunes� Store (www.itunes.com) worldwide in May. DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song. In addition, iTunes customers will be able to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free versions for just 30 cents a song. iTunes will continue to offer its entire catalog, currently over five million songs, in the same versions as today–128 kbps AAC encoding with DRM–at the same price of 99 cents per song, alongside DRM-free higher quality versions when available.
“We are going to give iTunes customers a choice–the current versions of our songs for the same 99 cent price, or new DRM-free versions of the same songs with even higher audio quality and the security of interoperability for just 30 cents more,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year.”
ed. emphasis added.
Hey Apple|EMI > Welcome to the Social ;-)
Oh: and thanks! It might only be a first step, but it’s the first step that leads to the second. Nice work!
Microsoft’s response, specifically regarding the Apple / EMI announcement:
“Consumers have indicated [having DRM free music] is important to them so Zune has been working with a variety of partners to head in this direction. [Emphasis ours] This is a time of transition for the music industry and Microsoft is committed to striking a balance between delivering the best consumer experience while still protecting the rights of the content owners.”
Oh, and by the way: Not *ALL* DRM is bad. The enabling kind does just that: enables. The destructive kind is what does just that, and again: Thanks be to folks such as Lawrence Lessig, the Creative Commons, and those in whom have stood behind these same folks with their check books and moral support: To each of you,