Don’t Hold Your Breath for DRM-free iTunes

By  |  Monday, December 8, 2008 at 6:02 pm

apple-logo-2The latest rumor-du-jour being served up by AppleInsider cites a French technology website claiming iTunes long love affair with DRM will come to an end tomorrow (Tuesday). Here’s how its put via a translation of the story that’s found here:

In French:

Comme toujours avec Apple, nous avançons avec prudence. Toutefois, les signaux sont clairs aujourd’hui. iTunes devrait proposer les catalogues des trois majors Universal Music, SonyBMG et Waner Music débarrassés des mesures techniques de protection mardi prochain, le 9 décembre. La mutation vers le DRM Free devrait se faire à un niveau mondial (voir Les DRM objets de toutes les négocations).”

Translated (merci, my french-speaking friends):

“Apple always proceeds with prudence. However, the signals are clear today. iTunes should offer the catalogs of the three major labels — Universal Music, Sony BMG, and Warner Music — without DRM next Tuesday December 9. The switch to DRM-free should be worldwide.”

What it essentially is telling us is what we’ve thought for awhile: that iTunes will be going DRM-free. The writing has been on the wall: nearly every recently opened music store, and most notably Amazon, have been without DRM.

But should we believe it? I’d say no. Why? Simply put, the record labels have been holding Apple hostage in an attempt to break its dominance. Allowing iTunes to go DRM-free would allow Apple to essentially solidify its dominance in digital music all but permanently save for some crazy unforeseen circumstance.

News reports indicate that Apple is in discussions with the majors about a switch away from DRM, however nothing is expected to be put on paper anytime soon. I’m not hearing anything either, and frankly don’t expect to.

This is the only thing that the record industry has over Apple, and I just can’t see them giving it up that easily. Yes, it sucks, but that’s just the way it is.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Yikes Says:

    “Comme toujours avec Apple, nous avançons avec prudence. Toutefois, etc.”

    I would translate it as: “As always with Apple, we cannot state this with certainty. However, etc.”

  2. Relyt Says:

    Sorry, but it apparently ain’t coming soon. 🙁 CNET (via engadget) says that Apple is in talks to make itunes DRM free, but it probably won’t come soon (before year’s end).