The rumor mill is in high gear over an announcement planned for later today by Apple and EMI. It seems that EMI plans to sell "significant amounts" of its catalog free of DRM. Some are also hoping that The Beatles catalog will finally be made available through iTunes.
Sorry, but where there is a DRM vs. The Beatles story, the DRM issue is far more significant in my opinion. Today could be the day that heralds in a new era in consumer freedom from DRM. If this ends up being a Beatles announcement, I'll be severely disappointed.
The removal of DRM on some of EMI's catalog is a good thing, but most would rather see a complete removal of DRM on EMI's entire iTunes offering. Now that would be cool, but I don't see that happening. My guess is that we'll only get a partial removal, and that these aren't going to be the big sellers. It's going to be the less popular stuff. The stuff that's come to the end of the line from a profit point of view (maybe it's no longer worth supporting DRM-related support issues for these tunes). If EMI take the bold step of freeing up the stuff that's in big demand, I'll be very impressed.
Here's a question though. If EMI does unlock some of it's catalog, will users who bought a DRM-ladened song that now gets unlocked be entitled to a DRM-free download? Also, how will iTunes make it clear which tunes are DRMed and which aren't?