Universal Will Sell DRM-Free Online Music, But Not Through iTunes

So Universal is going to sell DRM-free music through Amazon, Wal-Mart, RealNetworks, and others, but not through iTunes. Why?

But the music will not be offered D.R.M.-free through Apple’s iTunes, the leading music service. The use of copy protection software has become a major bone of contention in the digital music business, where iTunes accounts for the vast majority of download sales. The record labels generally have required that retailers place electronic locks to limit copying of music files.

But Apple’s proprietary D.R.M. does not work with most rivals’ devices or software — meaning that music sold by competing services cannot play on Apple’s popular iPod. Some record executives say they believe that the stalemate has capped the growth of digital music sales, which the industry is relying on more heavily as sales of plastic CDs slide.

Um, Universal won’t sell DRM-free music through iTunes because they don’t like Apple’s DRM? WTF? Am I even supposed to pretend this makes sense?

Friday, 10 August 2007