Walking the Talk
Critics of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' recent open letter Thoughts on Music will be pleased that he now has the opportunity to put his money where his mouth is.
Today EMI Music announced that their entire music catalogue will be available DRM-Free through iTunes Music Store next month, for 30 cents more than the regular copy protected tracks. The DRM-free tracks, though more expensive, will be of higher quality. Entire DRM-free albums purchased will be sold at the same price as currently protected albums on the store. The new premium DRM-free tracks will be presented as an option to music shoppers, and not a replacement for all EMI music.
Can Jobs do no right?
Despite some small exceptions (eg. a few Nettwerk and other assorted independent label songs) it really is up to the major lables whether to allow DRM-free distribution via iTunes (since Apple is clearly willing), as this announcement by EMI shows. Jobs stated "Apple will reach out to all the major and independent labels to give them the same opportunity" and indicated that half of all iTunes songs would be avaialbe DRM-free by the end of the year. Let's see if the reaction from anti-DRM advocates is as vociferously negative to this announcement as it was to Thoughts on Music.