updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri April 27, 2007
iTunes Indies Without DRM
The iTunes Store may soon have multiple labels whose music goes without copy protection, according to an e-mail notice. A message reportedly sent to partners encourages interested music labels to speak with Apple about changing their offerings to a format without digital rights management, reflecting the changes prompted by the EMI deal early this month.
"Many of you have reached out to iTunes to find out how you can make your songs available higher quality and DRM-free," the note said. "Starting next month, iTunes will begin offering higher-quality, DRM-free music and DRM-free music videos to all customers."
The invitation wouldn't be restricted to certain labels, the e-mail said, although there was no indication as to whether or not labels would be held to the same $1.29 price per song and 256Kbps AAC file quality as announced by EMI. Changes to music videos were also unknown.
Apple plans to make its changes to the iTunes pricing model in May and implies in its message that independent labels that operate quickly may see their catalogs available in the unencumbered format at the same time as EMI, though no deals have been announced.