updated 03:45 pm EST, Thu January 24, 2008
Yahoo DRM-Free Leak
Yahoo is in talks to revamp its music store to remove copy protection, says a report from the Chinese news agency SINA. Two record label executives have allegedly confirmed that Yahoo is in preliminary negotiations to change its service from its current, Windows Media protected format to an unspecified, unguarded format that would be interchangeable between devices and players. Yahoo spokeswoman Carrie Davis has confirmed that the company has discussed shedding digital rights management (DRM) on its music with labels but has also denied any new escalation in talks.
However, the goal is to open a new version of Yahoo Music before the end of the year, SINA claims, though it does not say which labels are most likely to sign a deal or what terms if any have been negotiated so far.
A de-restricted Yahoo service would provide only the third major music service to offer all its music exclusively in an unprotected format after Amazon MP3 and eMusic, increasing competition in the field. Stores such as Apple's iTunes, Microsoft's Zune Marketplace, and Wal-Mart currently offer only some of their catalogs without DRM.