Microsoft Joins Apple In Offering DRM-Free Music

Following Apple’s lead, Microsoft has announced that the Zune Marketplace will offer DRM-free downloads from EMI’s catalogue. Microsoft also claims to be discussing similar arrangements with other music labels.

“The EMI announcement on Monday was not exclusive to Apple,” said Katy Asher, a Microsoft spokeswoman on the Zune team, in an e-mail to the IDG News Service today. She said Microsoft has been talking with EMI and other record labels “for some time now” about offering unprotected music on its Zune players in an effort to meet the needs of its customers.

Microsoft has kept mum on the specifics. We don’t yet how the price or quality of Microsoft’s music will stack up against Apple’s offering, nor do we know when the DRM-free music will be made available on the Zune Marketplace. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Microsoft changes tune on selling DRM-free songs [ComputerWorld via Boing Boing]


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  1. Scazza says:

    Whats this? No comments on how MS is ruining the world, windows is shit compared to mac, or how linux will save the world from aliens…. damn, the commenters are quiet tonight.

  2. asherchang says:

    Ha, the RIAA is SO cornered on this one… EMI, Apple, and Microsoft… What can the RIAA do now? Pull a total Bush and astound the entire world at just how huge of a gaping asshole it is?

    … I wonder if this means that the Zune will scrap the half-baked 3 days/3 plays idea.

  3. Havok154 says:

    It’s kind of odd..I remember back in February the MS Media Exec, Robbie Bach, saying how DRM was important and necessary. Now that their main competitor has signed a company to offer DRM free music, MS thinks it is a great idea.

  4. exkon says:

    I guess this is what everyone has been asking for. If the price is right and there are really no strings attached this could really take off. The RIAA is probably shitting their pants right now.

  5. kenposan says:

    So, now what, those 12 people who own a Zune get DRM free music? I keed, I keed.

    RIAA just needs to realize that this is a losing battle, like closing our southern border, the war on drugs, and prostitution.

    There needs to be a balance between protecting copyright and fair use.

  6. Maulleigh says:

    I sat next to a woman on the subway the other day who had a Zune. I just stared and stared. She finally got up and moved to another car.

  7. mac-phisto says:

    @asherchang: What can the RIAA do now? oh, i dunno. sue a bunch of 9-yr olds, the elderly, & thousands of college students maybe.

  8. SpyMaster says:

    Wow….that picture of Bill Gates holding his toy looks just like the typical loser you’d see walking around with a Zune. Of course, from what I can tell, no one has actually *bought* a Zune yet…so maybe those geeks I’ve seen have all been Microsoft employees.