Monday, April 09, 2007

A better business model for the recording industry

An Announcement From Apple and EMI Goes Far Beyond DRM-Free Downloads

A week ago, EMI and Apple set the digital-music world buzzing with news from London. No, the Beatles weren't coming to iTunes just yet. Rather, EMI had broken ranks with the rest of the major labels and decided to offer its catalog to music retailers without digital-rights-management software that restricts consumers' ability to copy files and transfer them between devices.

That was the biggest headline of the day, but not the only news. The DRM-free songs would be ripped at a higher bit rate, giving them improved sound quality. They would cost more -- $1.29 per song, though albums would cost the same in both formats. And lower-quality, 99-cent DRM-protected songs weren't being phased out, just making room for the new offerings. ...

... First and most obviously, a major label is finally treating its customers like customers, instead of regarding them as likely shoplifters who should be given as few rights as possible.

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