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article imageWill DRM Die Today?

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 2, 2007 in Business
In a few hours we all will find out. At 1 p.m. London time today, EMI CEO Eric Nicoli and Apple CEO Steve Jobs will hold a press conference. They are rumored to be announcing a deal the would strip DRM from some of EMI's music catalog.
Plenty of invitations were sent to the press today to attend the meeting, but no more information was given except to hear about an exciting new digital offering.
There will be a number of articles about EMI and Apple announcements today, one was reported earlier by PlanetJanet. This is a follow-up.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers technology used to control access of digital media or hardware, such as controlling playback of music files or restricting playback on certain players.
The Wall Street Journal seems to have insider information and says "In a major break with the music industry's longstanding anti piracy strategy, EMI Group PLC is set to announce today that it plans to sell significant amounts of its catalog without anti-copying software, according to people familiar with the matter."
EMI is the third largest music label, with Universal and Sony ahead of them. There are a lot of critics of Digital Rights Management (DRM), as users are restricted to using one device and can't play music in any other player unless it is converted to a different format.
Steve Jobs has been trying to push music labels to abolish the DRM format entirely, and has sent an open letter to the labels on this very subject. He said only 22 out of every 1000 songs on the iPod (3% on an average) were purchased from iTunes. The rest are ripped from either a CD or obtained illegally.
TechCrunch said if this announcement is true, Steve Jobs will get the most of the credit for having labels drop DRM. And if sales increase because of this DRM free format, then the other labels may join soon as well.
Michael Arrington said April 2, 2007 will be a day music fans will remember forever.
If music labels release the songs in without DRM, will you buy more or expect the music sales more? I think it will help a lot, as people who purchase music legally want to use it in a number of devices they own without any conversion process. Currently you have to endure the laborious method of ripping to a CD and converting to mp3 and then transferring to another device.
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