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April 24, 2007

DRM’s Disappearance May Spur Amazon Music Store

DRM’s Disappearance May Spur Amazon Music Store so says ecommercetimes.com. Amazon, one of the 800 pound e commerce gorillas has been quietly hedging its bets that DRM free music downloads are worth waiting for.

Watching WalMart, Napster, and Microsoft get their proverbial asses handed to them by Apple’s iTunes music store and wildly popular iPods has been refreshing and ironically saddening for me. I cheer when a small company like Apple can hit the market so hard, everyone else stops what their doing – looks around – and exclaims “where the hell did that come from?!”. But there is a slight evil attached to the iall current legal music downloads from the major labels… imposed by the mafiaa (RIAA and MPAA folks…) that prevent copying the music freely.

And while preventing copying – the manufactures took the opportunity to lock buyers into their own hardware. So Microsoft’s Play-for-sure encrypted media would never be played on an iPod. Likewise Apple’s FairPlay music format would never work on a Microsoft Zune.

Well, time has come and the market has spoken. People with iPods don’t want to have to buy another one just to continue playing the music they paid for – if something should happen. And folks with Zunes want to be able to jump ship and take their tunes with them. So EMI has taken the first step, with some prodding from major market players like Steve Jobs, and announced they will allow people to download their music without DRM – for a slight higher price.

Amazon is betting on that popularity and is rumored to have a music store in the works to pounce on this new offering. No longer will retailers have to pick one platform to support – with DRM free music – there are no barriers.

Now, if the rest of the mafiaa would pay attention.


Update: I was right.

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