updated 01:40 pm EST, Thu February 22, 2007
Puretracks dumps DRM
A Canadian online store, Puretracks, has announced its intentions to sell DRM-free music from select independent labels, says the National Post. Most notable among these are Nettwerk -- home to Delerium, Sarah McLachlan and the Barenaked Ladies -- and Beggar's Banquet, who count Thom Yorke and The Strokes among their numbers. This represents only 50,000 of Puretracks' 1.3 million songs, but the company says it will increase this number weekly, eventually adding major-label content where possible.
The move makes Puretracks one of the first big online stores to carry but later abandon DRM, a move recently suggested by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The iTunes Store still uses FairPlay, and many users have complained about Microsoft restrictions imposed through PlaysForSure and Windows Media Player 11. The liberation of these fronts is likely dependent on record labels, who have been notably split on the virtues of copy control: EMI has been attempting to go DRM-free, while Warner believes limits to be essential.