Wow. Mere hours after April Fool’s Day — sorry, fanboys, for our attacks on your sacred cows yesterday — and we get work that Steve is hitting London-town to announce that EMI will start selling DRM-free music.
In a major reversal of the music industry’s longstanding antipiracy strategy, EMI Group PLC is set to announce Monday that it plans to sell significant amounts of its catalog without anticopying software, according to people familiar with the matter.
The London-based music company is to make its announcement in a press conference that will feature Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs. EMI is to sell songs without the software — known as digital rights management, or DRM — through Apple’s iTunes Store and possibly through other online outlets, too.
What does this mean for you and me? Not much, but picking out a music player just got a lot easier if you have any interest in the EMI catalog, which includes the Beatles and Queen. DRM-free music, as many folks are pointing out, is a huge gamble for EMI since they’re in dire straits and might be sold to Warner, which considers DRM as important as air.