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EMI, Apple Abolish DRM

Just when we thought Steve Jobs was giving up on his dream and going all DRM-hardcore on us, EMI and Apple announce their partnership to release the label’s complete music catalogue via iTunes in a DRM-free format. During a press conference held today, EMI and Apple officials — including Jobs — emerged from meetings many speculated to be regarding the Beatles catalogue, and announced EMI’s abandonment of DRM free music — an industry first and stepping stone towards the future of music consumption. The “Big Four” company’s catalogue, including material by Coldplay, Lily Allen, Norah Jones, Blur, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones, among many others, will hit iTunes this May. But there are a few changes; now individual songs sans Digital Rights Management (DRM) copyright protection will be sold with a two-fold sound quality for 30 percent more, $1.29 per song instead of 99 cents, while complete album prices will not fluctuate.

Meanwhile, many bloggers celebrate, speculate on the future of DRM music, and ponder which major will follow in EMI’s footsteps, but most, well, they wonder when the Beatles will hit cyberspace. “I want to know that, too,” the New York Times reports Jobs said during the press conference.

Here’s what bloggers have to say about EMI and Apple’s DRM-free initiative:

“Hell is freezing over! Good on EMI and this shows all Steve Jobs’ doubters of his sincerity for DRM-free music.” —

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. It seems that one big music company sorta kinda gets it.” — Plorn,

“Sucks to be a band signed to DRM and have your income involved with Jobs’ pet project.” — Sammy,

“Grin-worthy news indeed.” — Rossdunn,

“Still a long way away from getting me to buy my downloaded music (at the moment I download albums for free, and buy the CD if I like them after a week or so)” — Red20,

“The Beatles still nowhere to be found.” — LC Angel,

Talk: Will the Beatles ever see online distribution?