UMG Joins EMI in Nixing DRM

As a follow-up to Ken Pohlmann's story on Apple and EMI vs. DRM: The Universal Music Group has announced that it, too, will begin selling its catalog online without Digital Rights Management.

However, Universal won't be making its entire catalog available. And before the company does anything, it will first run a test in January, with a permanent decision to follow.

The logo you see here isn't from Universal but from the Digital Freedom Campaign, "a national effort to defend the rights of artists and consumers to use new digital technologies." The Consumer Electronics Association is among the organizations supporting the campaign.

Say Maura Corbett, a campaign spokesperson: "DRM-Free Music is better for consumers and better for business. Consumers want choices - and more importantly, they want the freedom to use the products they have legally purchased for their personal use. The UMG's announcement is an encouraging sign that record labels are beginning to recognize and serve the expectations and demands of consumers in the digital age."

The irony? That campaign logo shows someone holding an iPod. But Universal says it will sell its tracks via services like Rhapsody, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and Google - but not through Apple's iTunes!

For more, click here. -Ken Richardson

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