WSJ: EMI to sell much of its music without DRM via Apple’s iTunes Store

Apple Store“In a major reversal of the music industry’s longstanding antipiracy strategy, EMI Group PLC is set to announce Monday that it plans to sell significant amounts of its catalog without anticopying software, according to people familiar with the matter,” Ethan Smith and Nick Wingfield report for The Wall Street Journal.

Smith and Wingfield report, “The London-based music company is to make its announcement in a press conference that will feature Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs. EMI is to sell songs without the software — known as digital rights management, or DRM — through Apple’s iTunes Store and possibly through other online outlets, too.”

Full article (subscription required) MacDailyNews Note: The Wall Street Journal has a stellar record of correctly reporting day-before Apple-related announcements, correctly calling the addition of movies from Paramount Pictures to Apple’s iTunes Store and Apple’s teaming with Cingular [AT&T Wireless] on iPhone, for two recent examples.

Related articles:
EMI and Apple CEO Jobs to unveil ‘exciting new digital offering’ in live Webcast, April 2 at 8am EDT – April 01, 2007
Beatles + iTunes? EMI to hold media event on Monday with special guest, Apple CEO Steve Jobs – April 01, 2007
Is DRM doomed? – March 09, 2007
EMI rejects Warner Music buyout bid – March 04, 2007
EMI halts talks about selling DRM-free music – February 26, 2007
Warner Music approaches EMI in possible takeover bid – February 20, 2007
62% of music industry execs think eliminating DRM would increase music download sales – February 14, 2007
Warner’s DRM-loving Middlebronfman warns wireless industry it may lose music market to Apple iPhone – February 14, 2007
Monster Cable announces full support of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ call for DRM-free music – February 13, 2007
EMI may sell entire music catalog DRM-free – February 09, 2007
Recording Industry Association of America wants their DRM, calls for Apple to license FairPlay – February 08, 2007
Warner’s Middlebronfman: Jobs’ DRM-free music call ‘without logic and merit, we’ll not abandon DRM’ – February 08, 2007
Dvorak: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is dead right about DRM – February 07, 2007
Apple’s Jobs jolts music industry; Zune exec calls Jobs’ call for DRM-free music ‘irresponsible’ – February 07, 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ posts rare open letter: ‘Thoughts on Music’ – calls for DRM-free music – February 06, 2007


  1. DRM only deters people who have no idea how to get past it. If peopel want to remove DRm or circumvent it, they will figure out a way.

    This probably will not have any effect on sales but I shall buy some of their music if they do this just as a way of saying I approve.

  2. Actually I think this will have a positive effect on sales. There was a survey a while back that found people were sticking with CDs because they felt they had more control over the content. At least that’s the case for me.

    I just hope they stick with AAC. People gotta learn that AAC itself is an open format.

  3. I still have several hours of Apirl 1st aka New Years Day!

    On a conspicuous consumtion note:

    Apple is replacing my 17″ 1.5ghz PowerBook with a new MacBook Pro! Buying AppleCare paid off this time. Sorry, I had to tell someone becuase I’m keeping it a secert from my friends until they notice. I can’t wait to see their faces.

  4. I too will make a point of buying some of EMI’s non-DRM catalog, just so EMI — and Apple — can tally my vote on the “approve” side.

    Jobs putting his money where his mouth is. I love it.

  5. Maybe Apple are going to buy EMI. Or else EMI them as an exclusive means to sign up new bands to go directly onto iTunes as an inde-like label.

    “Sign with EMiTunes and get 50% of profits, free promotion, concerts through EMI”?

  6. I’ll admit I’ve pirated a track or thirty… but that pales in comparison to my legit purchases (roughly 1000 CDs).

    EMI… I will definitely purchase your non-DRM’d iTMS tracks rather than download for free.

    I take that back… I’ll probably stick to CDs on the really good stuff though – namely your Blue Note label.

    Thanks! This is great news!

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