updated 11:05 pm EDT, Sun April 1, 2007
WSJ on EMI Event
The special event to be held by EMI tomorrow (with Apple as guest) will be focused on dropping DRM restrictions from music, according to sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal. The financial paper claims that EMI will sell at least some of its music without any copy protection through the iTunes Store and potentially other outlets. Previous reports had at first suggested that the press gathering would see the launch of The Beatles' music online.
Such an announcement appears to confirm earlier reports that the music label was actively investigating the removal of DRM from some of its catalog. A particular reason for the decision has not been given but is likely to stem from a belief that rights management has so far curbed the growth of online music sales, restricting interoperability between devices and music stores.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs' personal involvement in the presentation would also reflect the assertions made in his "Thoughts on Music" open letter, where he argued that the only practical alternative to FairPlay and other protection methods was to derestrict online music sales entirely.
The talk of such a move is widely believed to be in part an attempt to head off legal action by Norway and other European nations, some of whom have contended that Apple's iTunes Store constitutes a monopoly over digital music by excluding non-iPod devices from supporting the music service's file format.