Norwegian Consumer Council senior advisor applauds Apple’s iTunes Store DRM-free music

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.

Mark Hachman reports for PC Magazine, “A Scandinavian watchdog group… welcomed the move. ‘No matter how the digital music market develops, today will always stand out [as] a very important date, the day when two of the really big market players finally took responsibility that follows from the position and made an interoperable solution available to consumers,’ said Torgeir Waterhouse, senior advisor to the Norwegian Consumer Council, in an email. ‘I applaud their move, and encourage all the other contenders in the digital music business to make the same important move.'”

“‘It’s important to note that this move does not take the heat off iTunes for the end of September deadline,’ Waterhouse added. ‘By the end of September they need to alter the terms of service and DRM used in the iTunes Music Store to provide a fair deal to the consumers who legally buy music. Still, this move by EMI and Apple today should serve as proof that it really is possible to fix the problems the industry has chosen to introduce with DRM,'” Hachman reports.

Full article here.

Apple iTunes

You’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you, don’t you…

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Norway responds to Apple CEO Jobs’ call for DRM-free music – February 09, 2007
Norwegian Ombudsman: Apple’s FairPlay DRM is illegal in Norway – January 24, 2007
iTWire: Norway deeming Apple’s iTunes ‘illegal’ is one of the dumbest decisions of all time – January 25, 2007
Norwegian Ombudsman: Apple’s FairPlay DRM is illegal in Norway – January 24, 2007

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56 Comments

  1. “‘It’s important to note that this move does not take the heat off iTunes for the end of September deadline,’ Waterhouse added. ‘By the end of September they need to alter the terms of service and DRM used in the iTunes Music Store…”

    What a doofus. It is absolutely clear now that the DRM in the record companies’ fault and not Apple’s. I.e. start cleaning up your own backyard (Vivendi and Bertlesman) before you report the neighbors.

  2. Who cares about Norway anyway? Apple will never and should never appease an insignificant country like Norway if it effects their working business model here in the states.

    Oh… why isn’t Norway (or any other EU country) bothering the record labels? Obviously if Apple can go DRM free with EMI they’d do it with any other label.

  3. “Still, this move by EMI and Apple today should serve as proof that it really is possible to fix the problems the industry has chosen to introduce with DRM.”

    Norway still doesn’t get it. This move was not really Apple’s choice; it was EMI’s. If–and when–the other labels decide to follow EMI’s lead, Steve will heartily concur and offer their titles DRM-free.

    If they do NOT, Norway will still be out of luck as they see it. And to them, Apple should say, “Sucks to be you. Sorry, but we cannot do what the labels will not allow.” Grow up. Get over it. Come back when your mind is in gear, Norway.

  4. Meanwhile, Zune Marketplace will always be your home for boundless DRM restrictions. Expect your Zune to squirt pure DRM to your friends so they know that you care. Thank you for your continual support, and remember that the termination fee for your lifetime Zune license is $6,250.

    Not really.

    First!

    Or second.

  5. Hey, Norway, be sure to kick Microsoft and Zune’s ass, as well, in your crusade to free the great white frozen north from the shackles of DRM-specific oppression.

    Hope you folks know the meaning of “consistency.” You know, doing unto others what you intend to do unto Apple! The world is watching.

  6. The beauty of this announcement is the negotiation power Apple now has with the rest of the music cartels. If they want higher rates for their music other than $.99 (US) per song, they will have to offer it DRM free. Otherwise, they’ll have to stay with the DRM laden music at $.99. Their choice. Apple’s got them in the noose now.

  7. > why isn’t Norway (or any other EU country) . . . .

    Norway is not an EU country. Neither are they an “insignificant country”, but ignorant people will continue to believe what they want to believe.

  8. A cease-fire between Apple and Norway? Soon we’ll read about reestablishment of habeus corpus, exchange of prisoners, recruitment of international observers, resumption of diplomatic relations, and singing out loud.

  9. Is there any other reason, other than to tweek a big US company, for this inane obsession with DRM/Apple?

    We aren’t talking necessities such as food, water, medical care, basic freedoms, or anything that in the real sense is even very important. We’re dealing with an MP3 music player, freely purchased by millions of people for nothing more than recreation.

    The world in certain ways is crumbling around Europe and they worry about this nonsense?

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