Rumor: iTunes going DRM-free today?

Mon, Dec 8, 2008

News, Rumors

Holy Schnikes Batman!  Could it be true?  Is iTunes finally going DRM free?  Well, according to a report from AppleInsider, the answer is “probably yes”.

A report from last week brought to AppleInsider‘s attention by French technology site ElectronLibre asserts that it’s now “clear” Apple will spark new interest in its music store by removing DRM from tracks published by Sony, Universal and Warner on December 9th.

The site doesn’t point to specific sources but is careful to note that Apple is moving cautiously on the matter following difficult negotiations that allegedly had the labels hoping to negotiate what EMI had done for the launch of iTunes Plus in 2007, when it successfully negotiated prices higher before ultimately agreeing to reduce the price to Apple’s standard 99 cents. Labels had also been hoping to switch from a monthly reporting of iTunes sales stats to live data, the earlier story suggests.

Currently, DRM-free music is available on iTunes via iTunes Plus, but it only features songs from EMI. The songs also cost about 30 cents more than their drm-laden counterparts.

But don’t start dreaming about leaving just yet.  As with any rumor, this one isn’t fully substantiated.  AppleInsider even advises,

Readers should treat ElectronLibre‘s claims as rumor given the uncertainty of whether Apple is participating in any negotiations at all. However, the page is known to have accurately leaked the launch of French iTunes TV shows and so has established a brief track record.


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