iTunes Goes DRM-Free...Today?
Will we be seeing DRM-free music on iTunes? That's the latest rumor from French site Electronlibre, which says tunes from Sony-BMG, Warner, and Universal Music will be sold without copy protection.
"As always with Apple, we move forward with caution," Electronlibre reports. "Nevertheless...Apple is going to announce that the catalogues of three major labels will be sold without DRM protection as of December 9."
It's well known that iTunes has been in talks with the major record labels for some time to introduce DRM-Free music. So far only EMI has lifted the copy protection from its catalogue on iTunes; however, Universal began testing DRM-free music last year and then launched a UK site for DRM free music this summer. Realnetworks' Rhapsody service began selling copy protection free music in August, and Napster, Wal-Mart, and Microsoft have all dipped their toe in the DRM-free waters.
So it's safe to say that the DRM-free MP3 is the future of digital music and it should be only a matter of time before a majority of iTunes' music is sold without copy protection. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that this will happen today--or even anytime soon for that matter. Relationships between Apple and the major labels have always been fraught with tension, and there's no indication the ice has thawed.
Then again, Electronlibre has been right about Apple's moves before. In May of this year, the French site accurately predicted the launch of French TV Shows on iTunes, according to AppleInsider.