Apple Negotiating More DRM-Free Music for iTunes

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CNet confirms some earlier rumors that Apple is in ongoing negotiations with the major music studios to offer more DRM (copy protection) free music in iTunes. Earlier rumors had suggested that Sony BMG had already agreed but CNet was unable to confirm this.
A year after iTunes began offering music without copy protection software from EMI, Apple is in discussions with the other three top recording companies about acquiring DRM-free songs, according to two music industry sources.
Apple first started selling DRM Free tracks known as iTunes Plus in May, 2007.

Despite Apple's willingness to sell DRM-free music, the other major record labels have withheld this ability from the company in an effort to reduce iTunes' marketshare in digital music downloads. The biggest beneficiary appears to be Amazon who currently offers DRM-free digital downloads from all four major music studios.

CNet warns that talks have been on and off for months so there is no guarantee that they will be able to come to a deal.



Article Link: Apple Negotiating More DRM-Free Music for iTunes
 

Aldaris

macrumors 68000
Sep 7, 2004
1,767
1,175
Salt Lake
What about iPhones?

I'm sorry but that headline is misleading, anyway, bring it on- as far as I know iTunes Plus songs can be tossed into garageband and make free ringtones... Oops have I said too much...
 

justanothernerd

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2008
82
0
Is it legal for the record companies to offer such a sweet deal to Amazon, but to then not offer the same deal to Apple? Seems like collusion and anti-competitive behavior to me..
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,918
539
In my imagination
I'm sorry but that headline is misleading, anyway, bring it on- as far as I know iTunes Plus songs can be tossed into garageband and make free ringtones... Oops have I said too much...
I agree, i was wanting to know why just iPhones, like iPhones get their content from somewhere other than iTunes.

And yes! Give me DRM free music!
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,177
1,231
NYC
Is it legal for the record companies to offer such a sweet deal to Amazon, but to then not offer the same deal to Apple? Seems like collusion and anti-competitive behavior to me..
I think it's fair to say that the record labels don't want just Apple with all the marketshare; by giving leverage to Amazon, it would create a more even market. Quite frankly if you have an iPod or iPhone, odds are you would buy music from Apple. There needs to be a that incentive to not buy from Apple.
 

Srai-W

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2008
135
8
Singapore
Bring it on I say. If Apple can actually bring out more DRM-Free music then why not. All my friends who have ipods use the :apple:store so it will benefit a heck of a lot of people.
 

koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,190
9
There needs to be a that incentive to not buy from Apple.
I don't believe this is the correct thought process. Apple make the iPod and the iPhone. Surely iTunes is the first port of call - at least there is a choice! Imagine if Apple had originally made iTunes Apple Lossless only... It's like Microsoft installing Internet Explorer - fine in my book. It's like Adobe and pdfs.

Otherwise, let's lose all exclusivity and have all games across all console platforms, all OSes on all computers... :confused:
 

Fhybr

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2008
5
0
Canada
I wonder where some of these decision makers learned their marketing skills. If I have a product that I want to sell to as many people as possible then I would try as hard as I can to get my product into all the outlets that are available to me. And most importantly, I would try to get my product into an outlet that has lots of traffic, ie lots of customers who buy.
But now there seems to be a new scheme, by some "business people" that seems to say, "well I don't really like this outlet because they are too big and have too good a distribution system, so I am not going to allow them (Apple and iTunes) to distribute my music, movies or TV shows. I am just going to cut off my nose to spite my face, so there!!"
I guess some distributors are just doing too well and don't really want us to buy their products.

:cool:
 

Jollins

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2006
195
0
I wonder where some of these decision makers learned their marketing skills. If I have a product that I want to sell to as many people as possible then I would try as hard as I can to get my product into all the outlets that are available to me. And most importantly, I would try to get my product into an outlet that has lots of traffic, ie lots of customers who buy.
But now there seems to be a new scheme, by some "business people" that seems to say, "well I don't really like this outlet because they are too big and have too good a distribution system, so I am not going to allow them (Apple and iTunes) to distribute my music, movies or TV shows. I am just going to cut off my nose to spite my face, so there!!"
I guess some distributors are just doing too well and don't really want us to buy their products.

:cool:
Perhaps they figured they could cut back on Apple's marketshare and that they could build up and then push around a smaller online music seller, and thus make more money by raising licensing fees (which a smaller distributor couldn't fight back against as easily).

Anyway this is good news. I've got a lot of iTunes credit that I rarely use because most of the music I want in the store is DRM-ridden, so this means the iTunes music store will soon actually be a source for music for me.
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,644
117
middle earth
Is it legal for the record companies to offer such a sweet deal to Amazon, but to then not offer the same deal to Apple? Seems like collusion and anti-competitive behavior to me..
Yeah it sure does. Record companies have deep pockets and lots and lots of attorney's, and it wouldn't be in Apple's interest to sue them, but it sure seems like behavior that is not in the interest of any consumer.
 

TuffLuffJimmy

macrumors G3
Apr 6, 2007
9,002
25
Portland, OR
That thread title is a pretty lame way to get more views. Come on MacRumors, seriously?

Anyway of course Apple is negotiating for more DRM free music. How in anyway is this news?! This is really scraping the bottom of the bucket.

This just in Apple researching faster chips for their next iMacs, no one is quite sure if the faster chips will make their way into the next Macbooks.
 

macbookairapple

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2008
134
0
So if they do get DRM free music, what happens to all our songs purchased with DRM, will we be able to remove DRM from the songs?
 

Bobcat37

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2004
73
0
Colorado
So if they do get DRM free music, what happens to all our songs purchased with DRM, will we be able to remove DRM from the songs?
I'm sure you'll just have to pay the 'upgrade' fee like they offer right now... I think it's like 30 cents per song to get rid of the DRM.

It's lame, I know, but I for one would do it to get the higher quality files without protection.

This is why I comparison shop between Amazon and Apple these days... usually Amazon wins, so it would be in Apple's interest to get on the ball and be more competitive.
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,194
Germany.
More DRM-free music on iTunes. Good for those who care.

In the meantime, can't we just remove some jail features from iTunes itself so that I can use my iPod Touch as a backup device for my music, meaning that I can also copy all those DRM-free mp3 files back from the iPod to ANY of my computers? As you all know, this currently only works for files that one has bought from the iTunes store, but NOT for self-ripped music tracks.

That's my most hated "feature" #1, and it effectively makes any iPod Touch or iPhone a useless piece of junk. At least with the other iPods, you can use third party software (like Banshee, for example) to work around that Apple DRM-crap.

My iPod Touch was the first and the last iPod that I've ever bought thanks to that idiotic crippling of the device.
 

Snowy_River

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,519
0
Corvallis, OR
I wonder where some of these decision makers learned their marketing skills. If I have a product that I want to sell to as many people as possible then I would try as hard as I can to get my product into all the outlets that are available to me. And most importantly, I would try to get my product into an outlet that has lots of traffic, ie lots of customers who buy.
But now there seems to be a new scheme, by some "business people" that seems to say, "well I don't really like this outlet because they are too big and have too good a distribution system, so I am not going to allow them (Apple and iTunes) to distribute my music, movies or TV shows. I am just going to cut off my nose to spite my face, so there!!"
I guess some distributors are just doing too well and don't really want us to buy their products.

:cool:
I think it's more along the lines of "We don't like this outlet because they're too big and are trying to use their size to exert undue influence over us, like telling us how much our music should sell for. So, we'll try to knock some of the wind out of their sales by giving their competitors an advantage over them. Then, when they're nice and softened up, they'll know who the boss really is, and we can go back to lining our pockets with gobs and gobs of money... muhuhahahahahahahahaha!"

Except that it hasn't worked all that well. Sure Amazon has been helped by this, but the number of consumers who actually pay attention to whether or not a song has DRM is, I'd guess, a very small percentage. Most consumers simply go to the easiest source for the music that they want, and that is still, for the most part, iTunes. So, the studios are being shown who the real boss is...

But there's no price difference between current DRM'd tracks and iTunes plus tracks. So what's the incentive for them to give us the choice?
I think the choice is there just because of the legacy of the system. I'm sure that once Apple can move everyone to "iTunes Plus", then all the old songs will one day just disappear. Then there will just be "iTunes" again.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,677
273
1) It's a freakin' typo, people. The OP meant iTunes, not iPhones. As Bartleby said in Dogma, "you have to keep reading!"

2) This is all nice, but it's a bunch of poo unless they offer free or extremely reduced upgrades on previously purchased music. It would cost me $50 to upgrade just what I have now to iTunes Plus (even though it costs THE SAME now).

3) On AppleInsider, they said "DRM-free MP3s". I hope that was just a typo there. I don't see why Apple would change from AAC to MP3 since, from what everybody seems to say on here, AAC is a lot better at the same bitrate.
 

Snowy_River

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,519
0
Corvallis, OR
2) This is all nice, but it's a bunch of poo unless they offer free or extremely reduced upgrades on previously purchased music. It would cost me $50 to upgrade just what I have now to iTunes Plus (even though it costs THE SAME now).
Do you understand why there's an upgrade charge? They have to pay for the bandwidth to serve all the people who want to upgrade. So, I'd say $0.30 is a pretty cheap price. And $50 means that you'd be upgrading almost 200 songs.

Now, I'm not saying it couldn't be cheaper. I just think that it's pretty silly to get upset for a few cents.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
Uh... What does this have to do with the iPhone?

Who the crap cares if the music on my iPhone is DRM free? Apple keeps me from transferring them anyway with their nazi-ass lockout.

As far as DRM free itunes: I don't buy/obtain anything other than DRM-free, so that means I basically don't use itunes 99% of the time due to lack of selection. Oh, plus it costs too much a lot of the time.

I mean, I can't believe anyone would buy DRM, now with that HDCP thing basically showing us that Apple can 'change the deal' anytime they want. How long before something similar to HDCP only for audio comes along and we're unable to listen to all those tracks we bought?

With DRM, you WILL lose your collection some day. It's a fact.

Edited to add this:
I just think that it's pretty silly to get upset for a few cents.
Right now, I have 15,984 tracks in my library. Some of them are audio books so we'll say an even 15,000. If I'd bought all those off itunes and wanted to upgrade, it would cost me $4,500. $.30 is 30% of what I would've paid for those tracks, which is way too much, especially considering it costs them next to nothing for bandwidth (they'd profit off of 1 penny per song).
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
Do you understand why there's an upgrade charge? They have to pay for the bandwidth to serve all the people who want to upgrade.
There's no way bandwidth costs more than a quarter of a cent per song. I will pay Zero, and with each song I upgrade, I want an apology emailed to me stating that they're sorry for trying to lock me in :)
 
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