Report: Apple To Drop DRM, Hike Prices For Major-Label Songs

by admin January 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm

What will be the big news flash at Apple’s final MacWorld Expo today? CNET says the company will announce that it’s getting rid of DRM protection on iTunes Store music downloads. EMI already began offering higher-fidelity, DRM-free AAC files back in May 2007, after Steve Jobs said Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) would “embrace (DRM-free) in a heartbeat if the big four would license their music (that way) … because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy”.

Now product marketing VP Phil Schiller, taking Jobs’ traditional keynote spot, will announce the addition of Warner, Universal and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music Entertainment at San Francisco’s Moscone Center at 9am PST, CNET reports from two anonymous sources. Dropping DRM on Apple’s favored AAC file format will not be as significant as switching to MP3, which is more commonly associated with DRM-free and compatible with more devices, but it would assuage the regulatory concerns of France, Norway and the European Commission, which have each called for Apple to allow users more flexibility.

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