Amazon and EMI in DRM-free deal


18 May 2007

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E-commerce retailer Amazon.com has joined in the clamour to sell music free of the copy protection technology known as digital rights management (DRM) that will mean music bought online can be used on a variety of different devices from Apple’s iPod to Sony’s Walkman range.

The company said it is to open a store offering only music free of DRM and is aiming to partner with more than 12,000 record labels worldwide.

The company has already struck a deal with EMI Group to make its entire digital back catalogue available on the service, just one month after a similar deal struck between EMI and Apple’s iTunes service.

“Amazon.com is synonymous with a great consumer experience and they have become an important retail partner of ours,” said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group.

“I applaud Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com for making this move. Amazon.com’s deep understanding of consumers and vast knowledge of music paves the way for a smooth entry into the digital arena.

“Their arrival in the digital music market will offer even more consumer choice and will be a big advance in addressing the lack of interoperability which has frustrated many music fans,” said Nicoli.

EMI said it is releasing the premium downloads in response to consumer demand for DRM-free, high-fidelity digital music for use on home music systems, mobile phones and digital music players. EMI’s new DRM-free products will enable full interoperability of digital music across all devices and platforms.

“Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device,” said Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. “We’re excited to have EMI joining us in this effort and look forward to offering our customers MP3s from amazing artists.”

By John Kennedy

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