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The remaining members of The Doors have decided to break on through to the digital side as the band made its back catalogue available online on Monday.

All six albums recorded by the Los Angeles group, led by the late Jim Morrison, are being made available for download for the first time. The release marks the fortieth anniversary of the original release of The Doors' eponymous debut album. The group is attempting to set the download market on fire with the additional release of two new greatest hits collections, along with several unreleased tracks and alternate versions of old favourites.

Robby Krieger, a guitarist with the band, said the time to hesitate is through: "There's something good to be said for the internet. If groups can sell their own records, that's great. I use iTunes and stuff," Krieger told the Guardian.

More artists are following The Doors' example and opting to make their back catalogues available for download. Fans of Elton John will be able to feel the love tonight on their computers and portable MP3 players as the Rocket Man made his music available online on Monday to mark his sixtieth birthday, which was on Sunday.

The archive of over 400 tracks, covering four decades of work by the English musician, is being made available through Apple's iTunes service. The Beatles are expected to finally release their back catalogue later this year after resolving their long running dispute with Apple.

The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) told ENN that it hoped the decision by these artists to release their tracks would curb illegal downloading of their music. "The only way to download them before would have been to do so illegally," IRMA anti-piracy spokesman Sean Murtagh said. "I would certainly hope that the availability of these tracks makes people think twice about downloading them illegally."

IRMA started including legal downloads in the Irish charts last year and several unsigned Irish bands are using the internet as a means to get noticed and gain chart recognition. Downloadmusic.ie, a web-based music store for independent and unsigned Irish musicians, hosts material from over 250 Irish artists. Songs can be purchased for €0.99.

Murtagh advised bands selling their music online to protect themselves and ensure illegal downloaders don't go breaking their hearts. "Put in place the security measures you need to ensure your music is downloaded legally," he said.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

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