First pillar of DRM crumbles

EMI Records office in London

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: We have some pretty big news from the world of music downloads this morning: Apple and the record label EMI announced an agreement to sell songs without copy protection.

This means starting next month you'll be able to buy EMI songs on iTunes and play them on any portable device — and EMI will sell music on other sites that can be downloaded to iPods.

On iTunes these songs will cost 29 cents more but will be better quality audio.

At a news conference in London, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said this is only the beginning.

STEVE JOBS: This is a landmark event and is the beginning of a major shift that will take place this year resulting in consumers being able to purchase music from any digital music store and play it on any digital music player.

Under the new pricing system albums free of copy protection will sell for the same price on iTunes.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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