Feeds

EMI and Apple ditch DRM

All you need is 20p

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Updated In a rumoured deal between Apple Inc and EMI, the Beatles could soon be available to download from iTunes free from copy protection limits.

EMI whetted Beatles' fans appetites yesterday with an invite sent out to sections of the media announcing an "exciting new digital offering".

Jobs has been loudly dissing DRM (digital rights management) for some time now and this possible EMI deal suggests another crowd-pleasing move away from copy protection limits.

Apple Inc had been involved in a bun fight with record label Apple Corp until February this year when the two fruity giants settled a long-running dispute over trademarks.

EMI has been the main distributor of the Fab Four's huge catalogue of music since the 1960s.

But elsewhere, industry gossip suggests that today's announcement has nothing to do with the Beatles at all and could even see Apple strengthening its position on DRM, coming out in favour of Microsoft's copy protection software.

There will also be a "special live performance" at today's much talked-up event and seeing as it's unlikely that we will see the two surviving members of the Beatles jamming with Jobs, it's a gig that may hold the key to what this "exiting new digital offering" from EMI is really about.

It's a lot of hot air and speculation at the moment but all will be revealed soon. We'll have more later... ®

Update

EMI and Apple have confirmed that the record company's catalogue will be available on iTunes unencumbered by DRM. More unexpectedly, for an extra 20 pence per track on the current 79 pence price in the UK, and 30 cents on the 99 cents US cost, there'll be the chance to download AAC tracks encoded at 256Kbps, twice the current rating of 128Kbps. Users with existing EMI libraries will be able to upgrade if they pay the extra.

The new DRM-free tunes will go live in May. No news yet on the Beatles.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.