Sony BMG Set To Sell Downloads Without DRM
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!
Sony BMG Music Entertainment is reportedly set to sell downloads without Digital Rights Management (DRM). The last major label holdout will offer at least part of its catalog without copyright protection some time this winter.
Sony BMG would become the last of the top four music labels to drop DRM, following Warner Music Group (WMG), which in late December said it would sell DRM-free songs through Amazon’s digital music store. EMI and Vivendi’s Universal Music Group announced their plans for DRM-free downloads earlier in 2007.
The Future: When reading about Sony’s forthcoming announcement you’ll notice a common thread in many of the reports: The major labels are dropping DRM to combat Apple’s dominance of the online music market. However, this will only enhance their position. DRM was not only a ball & chain to online music sales, but also to technical advancement. The reason that Apple was able to bulldoze the market was because they had the best digital music players married to the best online music store in one easy-to-use ecosystem. Period. It wasn’t because of DRM, it wasn’t because of their insistence to sell downloads for 99 cents, and it wasn’t because they refused to only sell complete albums.