Consumer Freedom

Copy Protection Joins Castro on Deathbed?

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Looks like someone in the music industry has finally noticed digital copy protection is on its last legs. "Major label EMI — home of Coldplay and Norah Jones — is in discussions with online music stores about selling its music without copy protection, or digital rights management (DRM)."

Last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs created a huge stir when he called on the music industry to dump DRM, saying it hinders sales. Yahoo Music general manager Dave Goldberg predicts that by Christmas, most of Yahoo's catalog will be DRM-free.

"The labels understand that DRM has to go," he says. "It's nothing but a tax on digital consumers. There's good momentum behind DRM going away."

Goldberg said sales could increase by 15% to 20% without DRM, which prevents protected music from being played or stored in certain formats–for example, if the protections were lifted then songs bought on iTunes could be played on non-iPods.

More from Reason writers on the music industry's shallow learning curve here and here.

More from me on the iPod here.