- The Washington Times - Monday, April 2, 2007

What to make of news that EMI Group has agreed to sell songs on iTunes sans copyright protection?

A breathless messageboard chat-mate of mine says: “This smells … watch for a price drop soon on iPods … then a new version with some form of higher song quality — once again only playable on an iPod. Apple won’t give this edge up … ”

Perhaps. But, still, I think it’s possible Steve Jobs wasn’t lying when he said Big Music wouldn’t play ball with iTunes unless there was some kind of DRM-scheme in place.

One possibility is that labels are beginning to react rationally to the availability of software like this, which enables you to easily and cheaply dismantle DRM protections.

If that’s the case, I’ll just marvel, for now, at how slowly the music industry is adjusting to the digital music sphere — eight years after the advent of Napster.

It’s telling that the Beatles’ catalog isn’t part of the EMI-Apple deal. How long will legal music downloaders continue to put up with affronts to their patience when, with just a little scrabbling, you turn up Web sites like [Editor’s note to Scott and his readers: Sorry, I deleted the illegal downloads link here], where Beatles albums are cheaper than a cup of Starbucks joe?

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