Tuesday, April 03, 2007

EMI give away music?

EMI have struck a deal with Apple to offer their tracks through iTunes with no copy protection (albeit at a higher price). The commercial reason for this is to open up the user base to those who use, or would like to use, digital music players other than iPods. Currently tracks bought through iTunes are locked into the iPod.

This all makes sense for the parties concerned - EMI and iTunes get a wider audience (although Apple are taking a risk that people don't stick with iPods). But I'm sure they've all done their maths and they think that overall they will both benefit.

However in the Guardian's reporting of the story they state that "you will also be able to share tracks with friends". While that's undoubtedly true, I am pretty sure that it would be illegal. Just because the music has no technology to prevent copying doesn't mean that you have the right to make copies of it for others. I'm sure the Guardian is either mistaken on that, or are advocating illegal file sharing.

Of course those of us in the know would never buy copy protected music anyway, as we want the freedom to listen to the music we've paid for wherever and however we like, for as long as we like. That's why we use music download sites such as Bleep, eMusic, and Calabash to name but a few excellent examples.