Apple and music labels in discussions to sell DRM-free songs, say sources

“A year after iTunes began offering music without copy protection software from EMI, Apple is in discussions with the other three top recording companies about acquiring DRM-free songs, according to two music industry sources,” Greg Sandoval reports for CNET.

“The talks are still preliminary and no deals have been finalized, but one source said one of the major labels is close to a final agreement. Rumors have been swirling on the Internet for a week that Sony would soon be offering music without the controversial digital rights management software. My sources could not confirm this,” Sandoval reports.

“Spokespeople for Apple and the major labels declined to comment,” Sandoval reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ottawa Mark” for the heads up.]


  1. I think it’s stupid for anybody to believe they are just starting to discuss this now. I’m sure they’ve been talking off and on about this for probably more than two years now.

    I think the major labels have seen that their attempt to break iTunes by forcing the continued use of DRM, while letting other online stories offer their music without DRM for less money hasn’t really worked.

  2. According to this version of the story, “[t]he report claims that the switch would use MP3s as the choice of format” – hopefully this is not true. After all, AAC is already compatible with nearly all “mp3” players out there, and is technologically superior to mp3 as well.

    Unfortunately, we *do* have record label folks involved, who worry that if consumers don’t see “mp3”, they won’t buy. I doubt Apple would switch to mp3, but the labels might do something stupid like stipulating mp3 as a condition.

  3. Well, obviously the record companies need to do this. But we need the movie studios to do this as well! The movie studios are even greedier than the music industry, and that’s hard to believe!

  4. Well it looks like you I-Pod lemmings continue to get shafted by proprietary Apple. Today they’re taking away your DRM. What will they take away tomorrow? You simply don’t see these types of shenanigans being pulled over at Zune Marketplace.

    So let’s add DRM to the list of features Zune enthusiasts enjoy along with FM, super-generous squirting rights and the color brown. Have you MAC sheep had enough?

    I’m a PC.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  5. I wonder how they will remove the encryption within the aac stream of the songs when they turn off the fairplay servers? I would hate make music cd’s (60gb worth of purchased music) and re-rip them to unprotected aac.

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