EMI’s Nicoli on DRM-free iTunes: ‘We have to trust our consumers,’ Apple’s Jobs: ‘right thing to do’

Apple StoreApple 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 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.

BBC News reports, “EMI boss Eric Nicoli said the move did not diminish EMI’s fight against piracy. DRM has been hailed by some in the industry as the most effective way to stop illicit copying. ‘We have to trust our consumers,’ he said. ‘We have always argued that the best way to combat illegal traffic is to make legal content available at decent value and convenient.'”

The Beeb reports, “Apple boss Steve Jobs shared the platform with Mr Nicoli and said: ‘This is the next big step forward in the digital music revolution – the movement to completely interoperable DRM-free music.’ He added: ‘The right thing to do is to tear down walls that precluded interoperability by going DRM-free and that starts here today.'”

“Analyst Mark Mulligan, with Jupiter Research, said the announcement ‘changes not just the rules of the game, but the game itself.’ He said he expected the other record labels and online retailers to follow suit in due course. ‘Other retail partners have to come to the party because they can’t be seen to be offering an inferior product,'” The Beeb reports.

“Other record companies would soon follow EMI’s lead, predicted Mr Jobs,” The Beeb reports. “He said the more than half of all the tracks available in the iTunes store would be available DRM-free by the end of the year.”

Full article here.

Apple iTunes

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Analyst Gartenberg: iTunes Store’s DRM-free music ‘a great win for Apple’ – April 02, 2007
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Apple: Higher quality 256 kbps AAC DRM-free music on iTunes Store coming in May – April 02, 2007
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  1. So much for the European/French lawsuit claiming that iTunes downloads don’t play on other music players. That issue is now DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. Bring on your Rio’s, Zunes, Jukeboxes, and the like; they can ALL play EMI music from iTunes!

  2. Thank you…
    If I believe that you are putting trust in me…are putting my interests at the forefront…and are not trying to stick-it-to-me… I’m less likely to steal from you. In fact, I may become your advocate. I will tell other people about you. I will be a part of your marketing team without you even knowing about it.

    Why don’t companies understand this?

  3. A better idea would have been to put watermarks in the file. Some sort of code to track the files back to the person who shared it.

    I would like to think that everyone is honest, but we know there are a few bad Apples out there.

  4. who says they aren’t watermarking songs?? In the info section of each song file is the account that downloaded it. It would not be hard to include this marker in the coding. Of course, if they publicize this backdoor to fighting piracy they will lose it.

  5. <a href =”http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070402/ENT04/70402020/1039″>Beatles not included in DRM free music from EMI</a>

    But whoever cares about the Beatles already has their music anyway.

  6. You are absolutely right, but don’t stop at digital downloads.

    ALL consumer activity should be tracked to a worldwide database which is closely monitored by an international consortium of courts. In the event there are infractions, justice should be swiftly carried out by these courts and maximum penalties must be applied.

    I am sick and tired of the pervasive lawlessness of an immoral few.

    God bless.

  7. I have a certain sympathy with the record companies in terms of wanting to protect their material, after all it is very easy to just email an album to a friend or copy many albums or a whole collection from one person to another. That said, if they try to rip customers off whilst legitimately protecting themselves then that’s wrong. If you offer customers a genuinely easy to use, convenient and reasonably priced service (iTunes) then customers are likely to use it. EMI are cottoning on to this. I just hope they succeed.

  8. Ok, so now I get higher quality, DRM free, music for $1.29 per song. What about the people who were happy with buying the $.99 song. DRM has never posed an issue and I’m happy with the quality now I have to pay $1.29. That’s a 29% increase in the price folks. Can we still buy the DRM version as save 29%? Kinda sucks.

  9. no one else knows how to make music players worth a damn – so no, I’m NOT worried about it.

    Now that convergence is happening – AppleTv = Mac, cellphone/ipod = Mac…. why should i worry… the other guys have had Windows CE now for nearly 10 years, and its STILL crap.

    Whoever came up with the idea of a Mac ripoff mouse driven interface to be a “good idea” for a tiny screened portable device … with no mouse… is a tard, and the fact that they keep pimping it, and have done nothing to compe close to the iPhone’s interface is…well… typical.

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