Despite Move to MP3s, DRM Will Haunt Record Labels

by admin January 8, 2008 at 1:21 pm

While record labels’ retreat from digital rights management software is designed to give consumers the ability to play songs on any device, music fans will likely be trapped in a DRM-filled world for years to come.

“In the big picture, we’re probably 10 years into a 20-year evolutionary process here, from going to the store (and) buying a CD to downloading all music in the MP3 format on your computer,” said Christopher Allen, chief operating officer of Napster.

The music industry is in the fledgling stages of an anti-DRM experiment that until recently seemed unlikely. With Apple’s iTunes Store dominating the booming market for digital music sales, the Big Four record labels — Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI Music — are scrambling for fresh ways to peddle their wares, even as they face creative new competitors.

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