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iTunes goes DRM-free with EMI

Songs from major music label are available via Apple's store sans digital rights management software that prevents file copying.
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Written by Candace Lombardi on
Apple's iTunes Store began selling DRM-free songs from EMI on Wednesday.

DRM (digital rights management) software prevents owners from copying or freely using a digital file across multiple devices.

As expected, all the songs from music label EMI that are sold on iTunes are now available in DRM-free versions. Shoppers have the option to purchase either a 256kbps AAC-encoded DRM-free song for $1.29 via iTunes Plus, or the usual 128kbps AAC-encoded DRM-version for 99 cents.

"We expect more than half of the songs on iTunes will be offered in iTunes Plus versions by the end of this year," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. No one at Apple was available for live comment on Wednesday morning.

Previously purchased EMI songs can be upgraded to the DRM-free version for 30 cents per song, or $3 per album.

EMI artists in the deal include Coldplay, The Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra. The deal excludes Beatles songs.

In February, Jobs released an open letter asking that record companies consider going DRM-free. Apple and EMI announced in April that a DRM-free deal was in the works and that it would exclude Beatles songs.

In order to use iTunes Plus, people must download iTunes 7.2, the latest version of the software.

eMusic already offers DRM-free songs, but its catalog has been limited to mostly independent labels.

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