Since the open letter in February 2007 from Steven Jobs of Apple calling for the removal/elimination of DRM or digital-rights management protection (copy protection) from online music, Universal Music Group has joined EMI to do just that.
Universal Music Group will open up thousands of tracks by their artist like 50 cents, Sting, and U2 to be sold online through Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Real Networks, Trans World Entertainment, PassAlong Networks, and Puretracks.
The DRM free downloads are a test by Universal Music as stated by Doug Morris, chairman and chief executive – “will provide valuable insights into the implications of selling our music in an open format.” The DRM free songs will be available from Aug 21 to Jan. 31, 2008. Basically if sales are up with manual amount of piracy taking place, this test will become permanent. With that said, the rest of the music industry will follow the trail that EMI and Universal Music has blazed in the goal of DRM free music downloads.
If this becomes a permanent reality, the consumer will not only benefit but I would not be surprised to see an increase amount of downloads which will make this a lucrative business for all.