It's interesting to read the announcement that Warner Music Group has become the next major studio to offer its complete catalog DRM-free through Amazon's new music download store. With only Sony BMG left still embracing DRM, this is shows clearly how music executive have grown to hate Apple more than they do customers.
Let's be clear here, DRM had little or nothing to do with preventing piracy, its purpose was to take away the fair rights that we had grown accustom to when buying a CD and sell those rights back to us. DRM never has and never will stop piracy - as DRM becomes more sophisticated, so do the hackers.
But it is interesting to watch the big names flock to Amazon's MP3 store. It's what music executives, tired of being arm-locked by Steve Jobs, have been waiting for all these years. Because Amazon's store provides audio in DRM-free MP3 files, they'll work on any platform and any media player, which means an even playing field, instead of one sloped in the direction of iTunes and Apple.
While I can't see this having an effect on iPod sales, a decline in iTunes sales could ding Apple's profits, which in turn might mean that it has to get with the 21st century and throw away the digital shackles and compete openly. I'm not sure how easy a company that has operated from inside a comfortable bubble of an engineered iPod/iTunes ecosystem would find that transition to make. DRM-free MP3s don't fit in well with the idea of locking you into the iPod for life.
I for one welcome the slow downfall of our digital overlord.
[UPDATE: Some have taken this post as a slam of Apple - it's not. However, Apple/Steve Jobs have in recent months claimed to be anti-DRM but not managed to offer a complete DRM-free catalog and have blamed the music industry for this. However, Amazon's MP3 store shows that the music industry is obviously interested in offering DRM-free music ... so why not through iTunes?]