27 Dec 2007

Amazon to provide unprotected MP3 music from Warner Music 

It's always good to see common sense work it's way through the thick walls of the music industry. Warner have seen the light and realised (finally) that DRM (Digital Rights Management) is not the way to go and have started to open up their music library in partnership with Amazon's MP3 shop.

The view of the music industry over the last decade seems to have been to attempt to screw more money out of legitimate customers for an inferior product with significantly more restrictions. Today you can buy a CD and be free to copy that music for personal use onto your MP3 player, your tape machine or even your computer. Alternatively you can download a DRM protected track at virtually the same cost (but much bigger profits for the music industry) and have your ability to use that music severely curtailed (no - you can't put it on a CD to use in your car, you can't put it on your non-DRM MP3 player, you can't..., you can't).

It's a wonder the environmentally friendly download industry ever got off the ground!

DRM of course only restricts the rights of individual buyers. It in no way stops illegal copying of music - just search Google for ways of circumventing DRM and you'll see just how badly this technology works!

So... it is great to hear that some clear thinking has been happening at Warner and that they have joined the growing band of music publishers that are seeing the light. Amazon already has partnerships with Universal and EMI so now the only major publisher left out in the cold is Sony!

Here in the UK of course Amazon do not yet have an MP3 shop - so we'll have to wait for the light to reach us!

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