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Interesting Times for Media, the Internet and Copyright Law: EMI and DRM News.
Latest news, (well maybe a few days or so late) in the world of downloading music is that EMI will be releasing there catalog of songs now without DRM- Digital Rights Management. This means that anything owned by EMI that can be purchased through Apple's itunes can now be used in more places than just Itunes and Apple related products.
Well, this seems like a step in the right direction, for music downloading. I didn't understand how if I bought a song I was then restricted to play it only in certain places. That remained for a long time one of the reasons I have never used Itunes and probably never will. Then again, maybe this restriction was actually a failed attempt at encouraging album sales. I mean if I buy a CD I am not restricted to which CD player I play it in right?
Either way, it is no more for EMI which seems like a good thing. Of course this only applies towards songs owned by EMI, so it is restricted to labels like Capitol and Virgin etc.
From the initial backlash against Napster there has been some shockingly bad decisions made in the legal music downloading world. It just seemed that the companies involved were more interested in guaranteeing their share and not what music enthusiasts actually would prefer, (which ironically enough probably would have led to more sales). This at least seems like they're considering what might actually make the public more interested in music downloading. Then again, that consideration is probably fueled by the fact that download sales probably are not as high as what they were originally were hoping for and they're looking to entice people in.
Lets hope they're just finally coming to a long past due realization.
This news has very little effect on me. I collect albums not songs and I actually prefer having a physical copy of music with all the album art etc, so I don't download music legally, and in the past only used illegal downloading for previewing albums I later bought. Still, I do enjoy watching the corporate world struggle to determine how they can maximize their cut of the changing music industry and then later slink back to do what many of us thought they should have done to begin with when they fail.
Between the ever shifting music download scene and the Viacom vs. YouTube trial it looks like we're living in very interesting times for music, media, the Internet and copyright law.
Something tells me we should expect another copyright/computer related debacle like the infamous Sony auto install CDs soon enough, (I'm already anticipating one involving Windows Vista).
Check out a little more about the EMI DRM news here at PopMatter: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/news/article/32973/digital-music-industry-finally-faces-reality/