EMI Group PLC on Monday announced a deal that will allowcomputer company Apple Inc. to sell the record company's songs online withoutcopy protection software.
The agreement means that customers of Apple's iTunes store will soon be ableto play downloaded songs by the Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Coldplay and othertop-selling artists without the copying restrictions once imposed by theirlabel.
EMI said almost all of its catalog, excluding music by The Beatles, isincluded in the deal.
Singles and albums free from copy-protection software and with a highersound quality will be offered as a premium product, the companies announced ata
Consumers will pay a higher price for the premium singles, but the sameprice for albums either with or without the copy protection software.
The announcement follows calls by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobsearlier this year for the world's four major record companies, including EMI,to start selling songs online without copy-protection software.
The software, known as DRM, is designed to combat piracy by preventingunauthorized copying, but can make downloading music difficult for consumers.
The software used by Apple does not work with competing services or devices,meaning that consumers can only download songs from iTunes to iPod musicplayers. The linkages between the download services and players has drawncriticism from European industry regulators, who argue that it limits buyerchoice.
Jobs argued there was little benefit to record companies selling more than90 percent of their music without DRM on compact discs, then selling theremaining percentage online with DRM.
Some analysts suggest that lifting the software restrictions could boostsales of online music, which currently account for around 10 percent of globalmusic sales.
EMI has acted as the distributor for The Beatles since the early 1960s, butThe Beatles' music holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., has so far declined toallow the Fab Four's music on any Internet music services including iTunes.
The situation was exacerbated by a long-running trademark dispute betweenApple Inc. and Apple Corps. That legal feud was resolved in February when thetwo companies agreed on joint use of the apple logo and name, a deal many sawas paving the way for an agreement for online access to the Fab Four's songs.
Apple Corps was founded by the Fab Four in 1968 and is still owned by PaulMcCartney, Ringo Starr, the widow of John Lennon and the estate of GeorgeHarrison.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16