Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of New South Wales
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Friday, June 01, 2007


The Day That DRM Died?

About two months ago we joined the blogosphere in writing about the decision of EMI and Apple to sell digital rights management-free music on the Apple iTunes Music Store (read that post by housemate Ben Bildstein here). Now, those DRM-free tracks have just become available on the iTunes music store, in a section titled "iTunes Plus": see the Sydney Morning Herald report here.

The DRM-free tracks retail at $A2.19, 50 cents more than the DRM-ed songs that retail at $A1.69 and according to Apple these songs are better quality. For those cursing the fact they've bought an EMI song with DRM but could now get it DRM-free, Apple has stated that where the DRM-free track is available, users can "upgrade existing purchases" by paying the extra 50 cents for the song or about $5.10 for an album.

Will this be the day that DRM died? I have to admit I'm not sure, and it will be interesting to see whether iTunes Plus is as popular as Apple's other products (iPods) and services (legal downloads!), although all signs point to yes.

(Author's Note - A Google search reveals that many individuals are asking whether this decision by Apple and EMI is the "day that DRM died". Seems as though all of us bloggers instantly thought of those immortal American Pie lyrics!)


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