Apple Drops DRM For iTunes Music

While the writing has been on the wall for a long time, Apple announced yesterday that it is dropping DRM for music from all four major labels.  As I told the Globe and Mail, this decision continues to shift away from the failed strategy of locks and levies, though the industry is still vigorously promoting anti-circumvention laws to protect the very locks that are becoming less and less relevant.

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  1. More costs
    It’s great to hear that a major player in online music sales is moving away from DRM, but many reports left out the fact that they will be charging an extra of $0.30 per DRM-free song. The idea behind circumvention-free media is not to charge more for it, it’s to offer your customers the freedom to use that media on whatever device they choose. iTunes is headed in the right direction but still have a long way to go.

  2. If they’re becoming less and less relevant, why does everyone keep complaining about them?

  3. You can re-purchase your currently downloaded library DRM-free for $0.30 cents per song.

    The new DRM-free songs range in price from $0.69 to $1.29 (per the labels requests for flexible pricing)

  4. The cost in Canada is 40 cents a song. It’s still 30% of the albums original cost. And, though I don’t have itunes in front of me, a little bit more then the states to update your music videos.

    So, even though it cost you the same original 99 cents to buy the song, it’s going to cost you more to upgrade it. Simply go into the itunes music store and click on the right hand side, upgrade my library. I’ll cost me around $100 to upgrade.

  5. Well, it’s still an improvement…
    …however partial the pricing makes it out to look right now.

  6. There are lots of other online music stores. You can usually purchase songs now DRM free directly from the label. Why people buy from Itunes in the first place is beyond me. I think the only reason why is that the Ipod is still very popular. I wonder what will happen to Itunes when the Ipod starts to lose its fad appeal. Not too far away I think.

    As for costs. An album in the mid 90’s cost $19 – $20 CDN. An album consists of 18 – 19 songs That’s about $0.99/song. Considering distributing digitally has eliminated and drastically reduced costs for album production, and distribution I think those can see a major money grab in the making here. We’re in a singles market again. The album market is almost non-existent, and is used to reaffirm stronger copyright laws.

    Getting rid of DRM is very much a step in the right direction, but those of you who think this will make any difference in music sales is kidding themselves. Greed needs to be ditched next.

  7. I think this will help music sales somewhat by offering a viable and reasonable solution for honest people who want to support the artists and pay for their music. I have found it very sad to read the various stories of how the honest folks who legally paid for their music got screwed over in so many ways (loss of subscription services, DRM, copy protection, etc.) It just wasn’t viable to “go legal”. Nobody wants DRM-infested music. Unfortunately, during this time, too many people (including me) got used to getting music for free. Hopefully people will gradually shift over to buying at least some if not all of their music and supporting the artists who work very hard to create it and who deserve the compensation.

  8. How to convert Mod/Tod video to AVI/MPG/WMV/MPEG
    omg, it is really a good news for us, i finally can put itunes songs to my mp3.
    i don’t buy songs and video from itunes store often.
    because i have Aiseesoft iPod Movie Converter.
    i found it few monthes before and then i really don’t need itunes store. it can convert all the popular formats to iPod video

    have a try here:
    here is also one for mac user:
    Aiseesoft iPod Video Converter for Mac
    get it here:

  9. Martin Laplante says:

    locks vs. levies
    I thought that DRM and levies were mutually exclusive for private copying. If you have DRM, then you can’t collect levies on the media. Actually in my opinion those that have DRM should be even be contributing cash to the copyright collectives in order to reduce levies, because they are interfering with the entire levies-to-pay-for-copying-rights deal. Same thing for the extra 30 cents for DRM-free songs: into the collectives to cut the levies.

  10. Well I for one plan to steal less music!

  11. It’s not all good news…
    Apple will still be embedding the purchaser’s email address into the file header so presumably they think that have all they need to track down and punish file sharers.