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Music DRM to disappear?
Published: 2007-02-14

Steve Jobs appears to have said the right words at the right time.

A week after Apple's CEO took the music industry to task for dampening music sales with its restrictive copy protections, several other interested technology players are now stepping forward to criticize music companies, according to a USA Today report. Yahoo Music's general manager David Goldberg predicts that sales would increase some 15 to 20 percent, if songs were sold without digital-rights management (DRM).

"The labels understand that DRM has to go," Goldberg told USA Today. "It's nothing but a tax on digital consumers. There's good momentum behind DRM going away."

Music giant EMI is in talks to open up its library of songs to copy protection-free sales, according to the report.

Digital-rights management technologies continue to be controversial, especially among digital rights advocates and security researchers. In January, media giant Sony BMG settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, ending a 14-month series of lawsuits brought consumers and government agencies over the discovery by security researchers that the company had installed DRM software on consumers' PCs that hid itself and caused security vulnerabilities.

Some consumers and many companies have criticized Apple for the copy protection technology that also prevents consumers from playing music bought on iTunes from working on non-Apple players. In the essay penned by Apple's Jobs, he suggested that consumers and regulators critical of the company's music protections take up the issues with the music companies. European regulators have been especially critical of Apple's iTunes store.

Goldberg believes that most of Yahoo Music's catalog will be DRM-free by Christmas, according to the USA Today article.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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